The Orlando Magic (19-11) went into Wednesday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers (20-10) trying to extend their winning streak to three. Fueled by a pair of double-doubles and a 3-point masterpiece by Ryan Anderson, the Magic beat the Sixers 103-87.
Orlando played a near flawless first quarter going 12 for 20 from the field with only two turnovers. They held Philadelphia to only 16 first quarter points and led by 13 after one period of play. After Jason Richardson hit a reverse layup about a minute in a half into the game to give the Magic a 4-2 lead, the Sixers would trail the remainder of the game. After falling behind by 19 at halftime, Philadelphia did make a run in the third quarter. With an Elton Brand three point play with 5:46 remaining in the third, the Sixers cut the Magic lead to four at 66-62 but the Magic responded. Orlando ended the third on a 9-1 run and led by nine going to the fourth. The Magic would not let Philadelphia back in the game only allowing 17 points in the final quarter.
Orlando shot 53.3% from the field and shot 60% from three-point range. On the day he was officially announced as a participant in the three-point contest all-star weekend, Ryan Anderson went seven for ten from behind the arc. Anderson leads the NBA in both three-pointers attempted and three-pointers made.
Not to be outdone by Anderson’s efforts, Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson both had double-doubles for the Magic. Howard scored 17 points with 14 rebounds while Nelson scored 12 points and dished out 14 assists. The Magic had four other players score in double figures led by Anderson who scored a game high of 27.
This win brings the Magic to within a game of Philadelphia for third in the Eastern Conference. They’ve now won seven of their last ten as they continue to march up the conference standings. With five games remaining until the all-star break, the Magic will try to continue their recent strong play as they face a Milwaukee team they beat four days ago twice and a nationally televised game rematch against Miami.
Up Next: After an off day Thursday, the Magic will host the Milwaukee Bucks (12-16) Friday night at the Amway Center. The Magic beat the Bucks Saturday night in Milwaukee when they erased a ten point deficit with six minutes remaining in the game.