Orlando Magic Sparkle in 35th Anniversary Season Opener, Crushing Houston Rockets 116-86
In a dazzling display of talent, Cole Anthony and Gary Harris joined forces off the Orlando Magic‘s bench, combining for a remarkable 31 points. This electrifying performance marked the start of the Magic’s 35th anniversary season, as they secured a resounding 116-86 victory over the visiting Houston Rockets this past Wednesday.
Anthony, a rising star, showcased his prowess with an impressive 20 points and eight rebounds. Alongside him, Harris contributed 11 points and five rebounds, forming a dynamic duo that shot a stunning 13 for 20 from the field. Together, they spearheaded a bench unit that astoundingly tallied 59 points.
In the face of adversity, the Houston Rockets managed to narrow a 17-point deficit to a mere one-point difference, 63-62, early in the third quarter, thanks to a flurry of 3-pointers by Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks. It was at this critical juncture that Anthony ignited the decisive surge towards victory. His clutch three-point play, with just 2:01 remaining in the period, not only extended the Magic’s lead to 78-69 but also served as the catalyst for an astonishing 18-3 run that concluded the third quarter, establishing an unassailable 87-69 lead.
Adding to the Magic’s spectacle was Jonathan Isaac, who exploded down the final stretch of the third quarter with a layup, critical rebounds, and an emphatic three-point play, involving a powerful dunk through a foul by Brooks. Isaac’s contributions amounted to 11 points, four rebounds, and a game-changing block, all in just 14 minutes of play.
Franz Wagner shone brightly, contributing 19 points, with 11 of those coming in a sensational first quarter. Paolo Banchero, although slow to find his first field goal, eventually made his presence felt with 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists. He showcased his mettle by converting 6 of 7 free throws.
Houston, on the other hand, saw VanVleet and Brooks each scoring 14 points in their Rockets’ debut. Alperen Sengun delivered an all-around performance with 14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Unfortunately, the Rockets were plagued by turnovers, committing a costly 19 during the game.
The Magic’s dominance began early, with Wagner nailing 3 out of 3 from beyond the arc. His two free throws in the first quarter propelled the Magic to their first double-digit lead at 22-12. The lead grew as large as 11 points in the first quarter, courtesy of seven turnovers by the Houston Rockets.
In the second quarter, Harris and Anthony continued to shine, amassing 14 points collectively. A remarkable Jalen Suggs 3-pointer, with just 1:47 left in the half, capped a scintillating 10-1 run and extended the Magic’s lead to a commanding 54-37. By halftime, the Magic had an impressive 24 points coming from their formidable bench.
The Orlando Magic’s 35th anniversary season opener was a true spectacle, a resounding victory that demonstrated the team’s depth and potential for greatness. Stay tuned for more remarkable performances as they embark on this milestone season.”
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