Magic preseason win over Spurs

Wendell Carter Jr. posted a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Franz Wagner scored 12 points in his first action of the year and Paolo Banchero rounded out the box with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the exhibition win. 102-99 for the Orlando Magic over the host San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

Moe Wagner did a bit of everything down the stretch. First, he hit a go-ahead layup with 1:48 remaining. On San Antonio’s next possession, he took over from rookie Malaki Branham. The 6-foot-11, 245-pounder then hit an offensive rebound to keep Orlando’s next possession alive, which ended with Devin Cannady drilling a deep 3-pointer with 46.5 seconds remaining to put the Magic up five.

Early in the third quarter with the momentum going for the Magic, Carter blocked Devin Vassell’s layup and then, after running down the court, hit a thunderous one-handed jam. Banchero also had a monster dunk late in the first half thanks to a drive from Carter.

The Magic, trailing by as much as 19 points, got back into the game using their size and strength. They outscored the Spurs by 10 in the paint and denied seven of their shots. Working for San Antonio was his long-range shot. They buried 13 of their 31 3-point attempts (41.9 percent), while Orlando was only 9 of 37 (24.3 percent).

“Catching my breath… Establishing myself as one of the team leaders. Talking when (I need it). Leading by example every day. And just building my confidence. There’s nothing like playing in an NBA game. Just getting my shots, taking them with confidence, and having fun at the end of the day. I’m just getting that joy back from the game.” – Carter on what he hopes to accomplish personally during the preseason

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Markelle Fultz (toe), Gary Harris (left knee rehab), Admiral Schofield (knee contusion) and Jonathan Isaac (left knee rehab) were unavailable for the Magic, while Keldon Johnson (shoulder) and Josh Primo (knee) were. the spurs

The Spurs have the third-youngest team in the league, behind the Thunder and Magic. Which of your players will make a big leap this year? That’s the big question in San Antonio as they move forward with their rebuild. Some are very excited about Vassell, a former Florida State Seminole who averaged 12.3 points last season with the Spurs. Two other of his intriguing players are Primo and Jeremy Sochan. The 6-foot-6 Primo, who was the youngest player in the league last season, has plenty of creativity in his offensive arsenal, while the 6-foot-9 Sochan was one of the best defenders in college basketball. last year at Baylor.

The Magic will take a short flight to Dallas for a preseason matchup with the Mavs on Friday at 8:30 pm ET. Dallas’ big offseason move was acquiring Christian Wood from Houston in exchange for several role players, including Boban Marjanovic and Trey Burke. Wood, 27, averaged a career-best 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds in 68 games last year. Two other key players for them, with Jalen Brunson now in New York, are Spencer Dinwiddie and Tim Hardaway Jr. If they both deliver, that will take some pressure off Luka Doncic.

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