Magic to visit the Bucks for the first two games in three days

Magic to visit the Bucks for the first two games in three days

The Orlando Magic have only four wins this season, but three of them are knocked out.

Any optimism about their fortunes down the road, however, persists in two games in three days against the NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks, with the first game set for Saturday night.

The Magic will conclude a five-game, eight-day journey, which saw two of the first three drop.

They will face a Milwaukee team that is looking to win its third game in a row for the first time this season.

The Bucks opened a five-game field by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 109-102 on Wednesday and Oklahoma City 96-89 on Friday. Giannis Antikonmo combined 68 points and 28 rebounds.

Antetokonmo scored 21 points, 19 rebounds (all on the defensive side), seven assists, and four blocks against Oklahoma City. Against the Lakers, the two-time MVP of the league became the fifth player in the last 20 seasons to score 45 or more points (47) on 75 percent or better shots from both the field (18 for 23) and the 3-point range (3 for 4).

The Bucks once again welcomed one of their top scoring options this week, as Khris Middleton returned after missing eight games due to a positive COVID-19 test. Middleton became Milwaukee’s all-time leader in making 3-pointers (1054) on Friday when he shot three hits against Thunder, allowing him to break the tie with Ray Allen.

“I think we’re all fans of what Chris does every night,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “His shooting ability and the different ways he gets 3 seconds and his kind of consistency and longevity here.”

Milwaukee’s Bobby Portez scored a double on Friday with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Middleton scored 16 points in a 5-for-13 shot, George Hill had 12 points from the bench, Grayson Allen scored 11 and Gro Holiday had 10.

Three of Orlando’s four number-one losses came on the road — including Friday’s 115-113 setback to Brooklyn, where the short-handed Nets overcame a 16-point deficit after one quarter.

The Magic are 3-6 on the road, but they’re only 1-6 at home, with five of those losses in double digits.

Magic rookie Jalen Suggs, who was in question against Brooklyn due to a right quadruple bruise, scored a career high with 21 points thanks to a 4-for-9 effort from outside the arc.

Orlando led 41-25 after the first quarter as Brooklyn played without starting players Kevin Durant (shoulder) and Joe Harris (ankle). But the net netted 65-42 in the first half and continued to maintain its stretch as James Harden finished off 36 points — including 19 from 20 free throws — to make 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Chuma Okeke (17 points) scored in double digits for the first time this season as Orlando’s seats totaled 46 points.

Franz Wagner contributed 17 points, Cole Anthony 16 points and made 9 assists, Terence Ross scored three times and finished the match with 15 points, and Mo Bamba scored 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Playing back-to-back nights means Magic won’t have much time to focus on losing – a game he led by 19 points (58-39) with 5:21 remaining in the second quarter.

“We go to the next game and keep working,” Orlando coach Jamal Mosley said after the game. “We will watch the movie and understand what we have done and what we can continue to improve, and where we can continue to grow.

“We did some really good things in this game. We competed, two free throws here and there, two hits taken here and there, and we stopped on the stretch. But, again, these are learning lessons we will continue to get better from.”

–Field Media Level

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