If there was one message Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford sent after the team’s 103-96 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night, it was the bench play needed to pickup. Friday night when the Magic welcomes the Washington Wizards into the Amway Center, Clifford would get all the bench scoring he needed and then some.
Orlando has seven players score in double figures, including rookie Mo Bamba scoring 15 off the bench, as the Magic rolled to win No. 5 in a 117-108 victory over Washington. Magic center Nikola Vucevic had a team-high 21 points and also snagged 14 rebounds in the win.
”No lead in this league is safe,” Clifford said. ”They had a lot of firepower on the floor. Wall got going, they downsized and spread us out and that’s their best defensive team.”
Now the Magic will get a one day break before going on a brief road trip up north to face the New York Knicks and Washington before returning home for 4 straight games, which includes a meeting with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The meeting between Orlando and Washington became the first for former Magic center Dwight Howard in a Wizards’ uniform. Howard ended the night scoring 12 points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes of play. Washington’s frontcourt of Howard and power forward Markieff Morris didn’t match up well against Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, whom combined for 41 points and 21 rebounds.
Orlando guards DJ Augustin and Evan Fournier held their own against the Wizards tandem of Bradley Beal and John Wall, whom scored 27 and 19 points, respectively. With New York and Washington up next on the schedule, Orlando has a chance to reach the .500 mark for the first time since the beginning of the season. Both teams are currently a overall record of 6-17.