By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
After six years, the Orlando Magic finally tasted a sweet victory against the Milwaukee Bucks.
In a highly-anticipated Eastern Conference NBA showdown, the hungrier Orlando squad pummeled the struggling Bucks, 112-97, that broke a 14-game losing streak since March 14, 2018.
The young Magic unit showed they could contend with the league’s best teams after dominating the Bucks on the boards while also cashing in most of their trips at the free-throw line.
Orlando tallied a total of 35 free throw attempts and made 30 while Milwaukee only got to the charity stripe 25 times while only converting 12 of them, ending the game with a disappointing 48% from the bonus area.
Aside from their free throws, the Magic outrebounded the Bucks, 43-36, and snatched 15 offensive boards which resulted in several second-chance points.
Milwaukee never held a lead after Orlando got up by four after the opening frame and continued to shoot well in the second quarter that opened up a double-digit lead.
Also, the Bucks failed to trim their deficit to as much as five points and already threw the white towel with still three minutes remaining in the game.
Paolo Banchero led Orlando with another double-double performance of 26 points and 12 rebounds while Franz Wagner torched the Bucks with 24 points, six rebounds, and three assists.
Meanwhile, the trio of Jalen Suggs, Moritz Wagner, and Jonathan Isaac also balled out for the Magic, contributing 20, 19, and 10 points, respectively.
Despite a dominant 35-point outing for Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee never showed a fight in the second half and badly missed the presence of their superstar point guard Damian Lillard who is still out due to a calf injury.
Orlando will look to earn back-to-back wins as they face the Brooklyn Nets on November 15, 2023, while the Bucks aim to halt their skid against the Chicago Bulls on November 14, 2023.