By defeating the Houston Rockets, the Orlando Magic demonstrated their ability to contend for the postseason.
ORLANDO: A club that is worthy of the playoffs must not only defeat the best teams in the NBA but also triumph handily over the ones they are expected to defeat.
In Wednesday’s season opener at the Amway Center against the Houston Rockets, the Orlando Magic showed they might transcend from a youthful, promising club to a playoff contender by winning 116-86 from start to finish.
Coach Jamahl Mosley of the Magic stated, “It’s really about that level of maturity.” After they regained possession a few times, Markelle [Fultz] slowed the ball down, let us get into our set, executed a great play, and Franz Wagner made a basket. I believe we just need to hold on to such things since they demonstrate the group’s development and maturity.”
It was Orlando’s biggest season-opening victory in team history, coming in at thirty points.
At halftime, the Magic led 54-43 after maintaining control of the game throughout. With 7:16 left in the third quarter, Houston appeared to be winning, but Orlando (1-0) rallied to outscore them 24-7, thanks in large part to an impressive block by Jonathan Isaac on Jalen Green that sparked a standing ovation.
The third quarter ended with Isaac being given a technical foul for the block.
“Okay, this is where we’re going to go. I thought it was green when I saw it. I will either block it or get dunked on,” Isaac declared. After giving it everything I had, I was rather surprised by what I had learned. Excitation overflowed, causing me to blink briefly before realizing what was going on. Just like that, I was thrilled about the play and the occasion.
“In my opinion, I am among the NBA’s most formidable defensive players,” Isaac continued. One of those instances where I felt good was after going through everything I had in terms of injuries and still being able to trust it. Yes, I’m doing great. I can score points for this squad now that I’m back and fully committed.
As part of the Magic’s balanced attack, which saw six players score in double figures, Isaac contributed 11 points, four rebounds, and one block. The starting lineup for Orlando scored 55 points, while the bench scored 61 points.
Team leader Cole Anthony scored 20 points, grabbed two rebounds, and provided two assists. Other players with double-figure scores were Gary Harris, Paolo Banchero, Markelle Fultz, and Franz Wagner.
“Our task was completed,” declared Anthony. “I thought we brought great defensive intensity, and I feel like as a unit, we feel like we changed the game early.”
Four players for the Rockets scored ten points or more. The team’s top scorers with 14 points were Dillon Brooks and Fred VanVleet.
Anthony doesn’t want the Magic to focus on their poor start to the season since there is still work to be done.
Tomorrow, Anthony declared, “We have to go back to work.” “We came here to play, not to win a single match. After all of this effort, we didn’t win a single game. Our goal is to continue as we are and become accustomed to this.”
The Portland Trail Blazers will be the first opponent the Magic face on Friday at 10 p.m. ET to begin their four-game west coast road trip.