The Orlando Magic will be try to complete a two-game sweep of the visiting Toronto Raptors on Sunday, which would give them their first three-game winning streak of the season.
The Magic beat the Raptors 113-109 Friday night to win their second straight game following a nine-game slide.
The game was tied when Franz Wagner made a putback after Markelle Fultz missed a jumper with 26.9 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.
“He’s about winning,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said after Wagner scored 34 points. “We’ve said this from the beginning of the year: He’s one of the most competitive guys I’ve been around. Add that to the basketball IQ on top of that, that’s what makes him special.”
Wagner shot 12-of-15 from the field and made all eight of his free throws.
“Franz showed a variety of ways to score the basketball but doing it in the flow of the offense, nothing was forced,” Fultz said. “Just playing his game and believing in the work he put in.
“A big-time rebound, big-time putback. That’s what Franz does. He’s a big-time player, man. It’s just exciting to be out there with him and see him grow.”
Paolo Banchero added 23 points and clinched the win with two free throws in the final seconds.
The Magic have won back-to-back games twice this season but have not won three in a row since February of 2021. Since then, are 0-8 after winning twice in a row.
They ended their nine-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 116-111 home victory in overtime against the Los Angeles Clippers.
For the Raptors, Pascal Siakam scored 36 points Friday. who are 3-10 on the road. On Dec. 3 in Toronto, the Raptors cruised to a 121-108 victory over the Magic, when Sikam scored 26 and OG Anunoby scored 32.
Friday night, Anunoby managed just 12 as the game followed a familiar pattern in some of the Raptors’ road losses — a slow start, as they fell behind 37-25 in the first quarter.
“I just think we got a couple of guys who aren’t getting ready to go on the defensive end on the road,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “We’ve talked to them about it and we tell them most teams are different at home than they are on the road.”
Toronto is 10-3 at home while floundering on the road.
“We just weren’t ready to match it and that’s disappointing,” Nurse said. “But it’s something we have to look at and dissect pretty closely and see if we need to do something different on the road.”
The Raptors took a three-point lead with 5:47 left in the first half on Friday, but fell behind by as many as 20 points in the third quarter. The game was tied twice in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.
“We actually fought pretty hard, I thought, for the last 16, 17 minutes,” Nurse said. “About as hard as we could. But not very good at the start of either half. We dug ourselves huge, huge holes.”
–Field Level Media