Tobias Harris leads Magic to rare victory
The Orlando Magic finally broke their 8-game losing streak on Friday night pulling in a rare victory 97-92 over the Washington Wizards.
The Magic came out on fire and scored at will in the first half, spurred on by a general disinterest in defense from the Wizards. The Magic led 58-46 at the half after outscoring their opponents 34-20 in the paint. The team averages just 43 points in the paint per game this season.
Washington opened the second half on a 15-4 run to cut the halftime lead to one before Jacque Vaughn was forced to call timeout. The teams battled back and forth from that point before the Magic were able to seal the game with free throws at the end.
Tobias Harris led the team in scoring , putting up a new career high of 30 points and while also pulling in 11 rebounds. Rookie Maurice Harkless was next on the score sheet with 18 points.
“When I was in Milwaukee with him, I always knew he had the potential and talent to be a great player. Ya know, in Milwaukee, I think they were just holding him back. They didn’t give him the real chance to show what he can do. Here he got a chance and he definitely proving himself and taking advantage of the chance.” – Beno Udrih speaking on Tobias Harris after the game.
The injury bug continues to strike Orlando as starting PG Jameer Nelson exited for the night during the first quarter after spraining his right ankle. E’Twaun Moore and Beno Udrih stepped up in his place, combining for 25 points and 14 assists on the night.
The Magic were also once again without starting big man Nik Vucevic (concussion) but did see the return of one bigger body in Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson finished the night with an impressive 14 points.
The blazing John Wall continued his impressive play since returning -the team is 21-17 with him in the lineup- and put up 35 points on the night for the Wizards. Washington played without former University of Florida standout Bradley Beal (ankle) and also without Nene (knee).
The Magic youngsters fought hard tonight and met the inevitable Wizard comeback with urgency. They played smart basketball throughout and gave the home fans a treat. They get a chance to put up an even rarer back-to-back win streak tomorrow night in Atlanta when the Magic face off the Hawks. Tip is set for 7pm.