Mon, 06 Feb 2023

Sixers hope to beat Magic for second time in three days

Field Level Media
27 Nov 2022, 11:40 GMT+10

The Philadelphia 76ers will look to record their second win in three days over the Magic on Sunday night when the undermanned teams reconvene in Orlando, Fla.

Shake Milton came within an eyelash of his first triple-double in the NBA on Friday after collecting 24 points, a career-high 10 assists and nine rebounds in the 76ers' 107-99 victory over the Magic.

Milton made 7 of 13 shots from the floor -- including four 3-pointers -- to propel Philadelphia to its fifth win in seven games.

The fifth-year guard is averaging 22.3 points in his last four games on 56.9 percent shooting from the floor and 52.6 percent from 3-point range. He also is averaging 7.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists over that same span.

Tobias Harris added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Georges Niang stepped up with five 3-pointers for the 76ers, who played without five-time All-Star Joel Embiid for the third straight game due to a left mid-foot sprain. Philadelphia also was without James Harden (right foot strain) for a 10th consecutive contest and Tyrese Maxey (left foot fracture) for a fourth straight outing.

Despite their absences, Philadelphia kept its resolve and fended off Orlando in the late going of the fourth quarter on Friday.

"For us, it's just an energy thing and it's contagious," Milton said. "(Georges) hits a big 3 and then Tobias does too, and it's a momentum thing. With us being down as many players as we are, we need those loose-ball plays to get us going."

Like the 76ers, the Magic were missing significant firepower as well. Wendell Carter Jr (right plantar fascia strain), Chuma Okeke (left knee soreness) and Terrence Ross (illness) were spectators as Orlando fell for the fifth time in its last six games.

The Magic welcomed the return of star rookie Paolo Banchero following a seven-game absence due to a sprained left ankle. The top overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft scored 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the floor. He also made 8 of 11 attempts from the free-throw line.

"(He adds) a ton," Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said. "We talk about his ability to get to the rim. His ability to get to the free throw line. His physical stature (which allows him to) punish defenses is going to be big for us. Our switching gets back into play the same way with bigger-sized bodies."

Franz Wagner recorded a team-high 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor. Bol Bol added 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, and Moe Wagner chipped in seven points and five boards in 17 minutes while making his season debut.

"His energy, his enthusiasm, those bell plays we talk about -- whether that's taking a charge, making the extra pass, getting under the skin of the defender -- he's great at those things," Mosley said of Wagner, who returned after spraining his right foot in a preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 14.

"The other side people don't recognize because of that energy is he has a high basketball IQ."

--Field Level Media

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