Field Level Media
Mar 26, 2023
Cole Anthony led eight players in double figures with 21 points as the host Orlando Magic took control in the second quarter and pulled away in the third for a 119-106 victory over the slumping Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night.
Orlando (32-43), which overcame 44 points by Brooklyn's Mikal Bridges, won its third straight by leading for the final 2 1/2 quarters and by as many as 20. Orlando outscored the Nets 68-49 in the second and third quarters.
The Nets (40-35) lost for the sixth time in seven games after dominating the second half in a 29-point win in Miami on Saturday.
Brooklyn currently sits in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, which would mean entry into the playoffs without having to take part in the play-in tournament. However, Miami is also 40-35, but if the teams finish with the same record, the Nets would claim the tiebreaker because they won the three-game season series over the Heat.
Franz Wagner collected 19 points and 10 rebounds as Orlando outscored the Nets 58-38 in the paint. Wendell Carter Jr. contributed 18 points, Jalen Suggs 16 and Moritz Wagner 12 as Orlando shot 52.9 percent and scored 21 fastbreak points, overcoming Brooklyn's 25-5 advantage in second-chance points.
Bridges produced his second career 40-plus-point game and finished one shy of his career high set Feb. 15 at home against Miami. Bridges shot 13-for-22 but had little help as Brooklyn's other four starters (Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, Cameron Johnson and Nic Claxton) combined for 23 points on 9-of-35 shooting.
Cam Thomas added 18 points and Johnson was the only other starter in double figures with 10. Dinwiddie was held to two points and went 0-for-11 as the Nets shot 40.7 percent and missed 27 of 35 3-point tries after hitting 18 on Saturday.
Bridges scored 19 of Brooklyn's 25 points as the Nets held a one-point lead through the opening quarter. Orlando outscored the Nets 25-15 over the final six-plus minutes of the first half and opened a 60-51 lead by halftime.
Bridges' trey got the Nets within 65-60 with 8:05 left in the third quarter, but the Magic gradually gained ground. Orlando outscored the Nets 27-14 over the rest of the quarter. Along the way, the Magic led by double digits for good after a basket by Fultz made it 74-64 with 5:55 left and took a 92-74 lead into the fourth after Anthony sank a jumper with 1.2 seconds left.
Orlando reached the century mark when Moritz Wagner converted an easy dunk to make it 100-82 with 9:32 remaining. The Magic finished it off when Anthony sank two free throws for a 117-102 lead with 3:49 left as Bridges took a seat for good.
--Field Level Media