In the Orlando Magic’s latest hot streak, which they won eight of 10 games before Wednesday’s 121-101 road loss to the Detroit Pistons, they used their defense to drive their offense.
that makes lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 129-110 at the Amway Center on Tuesday disappointing. Coaches Jamal Mosley and Markelle Fultz said the Magic allowed missed shots to affect their defense against the Lakers.
The same seems to be happening with the league’s worst Pistons.
The Magic (13-23) shot 40.7 percent from the field (35 of 86) and 22.7 percent of their 3-pointers (5 of 22) on Wednesday, which seemed to affect their defensive efforts.
They allowed the Pistons (9-28) to go 18-for-42 from 3-point range and commit 26 personal fouls, resulting in Detroit going 31-for-40 from the free throw line.
Orlando accomplished its top priority — protecting the paint (24 allowed) — but didn’t make the necessary effort to stop the shooter, especially in the second quarter when the Magic trailed 39-24.
Alec Burks led the Pistons with 32 points on 10-for-11 shooting from the bench, including 6-for-7 from 3-point range. Saddiq Bey also made six 3-pointers for 28 points.
Wednesday was the Magic’s chance to play defense right after posting the league’s fifth-best defensive rating (109) through its first 10 games, but they were again underwhelming, losing their second straight.
Moe Wagner was one of three players ejected for his role in the altercation during the second quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Pistons in Detroit.
Wagner was called 2 flagrant free throws for pushing Pistons guard Killian Hayes onto the Detroit bench with 33.2 seconds left in the first half and was ejected.
After Wagner’s shoving, a violent brawl broke out between the two teams.
Hamidou Diallo elbowed Wagner in the back in front of the Pistons bench, and Hayes hit Wagner in the back of the head with his forearm, causing Wagner to fall forward on the Magic bench.
The entire Pistons bench surrounded Wagner, and then nearly the entire Magic bench—players and coaches—run to the Pistons’ side, resulting in a furious shoving and verbal war.
Two Pistons assistant coaches covered Wagner during the altercation before he was lifted off the court.
Officials reviewed the nearly 10-minute altercation before Wagner, Diallo and Hayes were ejected.
Diallo and Hayes were considered the escalators of the brawl and were called technical fouls, leading to their ejection.
Wednesday marks the first game between the Magic and Pistons since Orlando lost to Detroit on Oct. 19.
“We’ve grown a lot,” Mosley replied before the game when asked how Orlando had grown since opening night. “Obviously, getting our guards back on the floor is a big deal. Our decision-making has gotten better. Our defense has gotten better. Except last night, we’ve made a huge improvement defensively.”
The Magic once again started Markelle Fultz, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Bol Bol and Moe Wagner against the Pistons.
Mosley said Wendell Carter Jr. still has a minutes restriction, but after playing 19 minutes on Tuesday, he hopes to have him play a few more minutes on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Carter had 16 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes.
“He’s been doing really well in his current role and just trying to get himself back to normal. We’re going to add more minutes as each game goes on. said the coach.
Jonathan Isaac, Chuma Okeke and Jalen Suggs did not play.
On Tuesday, Isaac was assigned to practice with the Lakeland Magic, the organization’s G League team.