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Apr 1, 2024 9:51 pm

Magic escape as Blazers miss buzzer-beater

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All five Orlando starters scored at least 14 points, led by Franz Wagner’s 20, and the Magic avoided a potentially major blow in their race for playoff positioning by holding off the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 104-103 on Monday.

Portland came into Orlando on a nine-game losing streak, including a 60-point blowout its last time out at Miami. However, the Blazers had a shot at stunning the Magic as the buzzer sounded.

Deandre Ayton’s 12-foot jumper after a scramble for a loose ball fell short as time expired, and Orlando survived after coughing up a 15-point second-half lead.

The Magic briefly fell behind in the fourth quarter after Portland whittled down the deficit, but Orlando took a nine-point lead with 3:04 remaining, thanks to a 12-2 run.

Wagner scored seven of the Magic’s points during the spurt.

The cushion proved vital as Portland answered with a 10-2 run of its own. Four Blazers scored during the burst, including Dalano Banton, who finished a game-high 26 points coming off the bench.

Ayton pulled Portland to within a point courtesy of his final two of a 20-point effort. He also grabbed his team-high 12th rebound on a Paolo Banchero miss to set up the final possession.

Banchero finished just 6-of-17 shooting from the floor en route to 15 points. The rest of Orlando’s starting five helped pick up the slack, including Wendell Carter Jr., who finished with 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Jalen Suggs added 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor and dished seven assists. Gary Harris scored 14 points as the Magic moved to within a half-game of idle New York for fourth place in the East.

Jabari Walker scored 18 points for Portland to go with nine rebounds and five assists. Scoot Henderson added 13 points and a game-high nine assists.

–Field Level Media

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