ORLANDO, Florida – The Orlando Magic defeated the Portland Trail Blazers at home on Tuesday night, 109 to 106, thanks to Franz Wagner, who scored 15 of his team-high 29 points in the final frame.
Orlando won the game from start to finish thanks to Wendell Carter Jr.’s 20 points, 10 rebounds, and Paolo Banchero’s 19 points, 10 rebounds, and three steals. The Magic increased to 2 to 1 on a five-game Western journey thanks to Markelle Fultz’s additional 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting and seven assists.
While the game’s final empty possession saw three Trail Blazers attempt 3-point shots, Damian Lillard, who finished with 30 points, chose not to make one. For Portland, which has lost four straight games and nine of its previous 12, Jusuf Nurkic scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Jerami Grant added 16 points, and Anfernee Simons added 15 points and seven assists.
29 points, with 15 of those coming in the fourth quarter
With 1:14 remaining, Banchero converted two free throws to give Orlando a six-point advantage. With 58.4 remaining, Lillard made a jump shot for Portland to get within 107-106. With 24.3 remaining, he was fouled while hitting a 3-pointer and converted all three of his free throw attempts.
With 22 seconds left, Fultz made two free throws to give the Magic a three-point lead. The Trail Blazers had an opportunity to send the game into overtime, but Grant missed a three-point attempt with 14.2 seconds left, Nurkic missed a corner three-point attempt with 4.7 seconds left, and Simons hit the back rim with 4.7 seconds remaining.
Only 6 of their 35 attempts (17.1 percent) were made from beyond the arc by the Trail Blazers. Overall, Portland trailed by as many as 19 points while shooting only 48.3 percent overall, committing a total of 17 turnovers.
Franz Wagner’s older brother Moritz scored 11 points, and Orlando shot 51.3 percent overall, including 9 of 24 from 3-point range. The Magic had 16 total turnovers.
To grab a 65 to 50 advantage, Orlando scored the opening 15 points of the second half. With 7:34 remaining in the third quarter, Banchero scored the other six points during the run that saw Carter score nine points, including a slam to end it.
When the quarter’s time ran out, the Trail Blazers were down 82 to 73 and Lillard made a 3-pointer.
Orlando had an earlier lead of up to 16 points in the first quarter. With 10:49 remaining in the first half, the Magic led by 19 points after scoring the opening six points of the second quarter. The Magic led 33 to 20 at the start of the second quarter.
With 4:43 left in the half, Grant’s shot helped Portland respond by going on a 16 to 1 run, trimming Orlando’s advantage to 40 to 36. With 1:18 remaining, Nurkic’s three-point shot for the Trail Blazers helped them tie the score at 47, and it remained tied at 50 going into halftime.
With two layups, Jerami Grant capped a 16-1 rally that had brought the Blazers to within 40-36 and eliminated Orlando’s halftime advantage. The sides headed into halftime tied at 50 thanks to Jusuf Nurkic’s layup and free throws, which brought the game to a 47-all draw.
The Blazers outscored the Magic 30-17 in the second quarter after scoring a season-low 20 points in the first. Despite having a non-COVID illness, Nukic was able to start and finished the first half with 18 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, and the most points of any player.
The Magic went on a 15-0 run to start the second half. 4:40 into the half, Simons hit a 3-pointer to end the scoring drought. The third quarter ended with Portland leading 79-70 thanks to Lillard’s thunderous slam.