Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Sports

Not pretty, but progress for Magic

PHILADELPHIA — The growth of a young, rebuilding team often is measured by how it performs against top-flight opponents. That explains why the Magic derived so much confidence from Friday's victory over the previously unbeaten Raptors.

But how a team performs against NBA cellar-dwellers also matters. Last year Orlando encountered problems against also-rans like the 76ers, Knicks and Lakers. To move up the standings, you need to beat the dregs of the league.

Judging by what happened Saturday night, the Magic appears to be new and improved.

Playing its fifth game in seven nights, the Magic beat the 76ers 105-97. It wasn't pretty. Yet for the Magic to take the steps it wants to take, it will happily accept ugly grind-it-out victories.

Seven Magic players scored in double figures: Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Victor Oladipo, Dewayne Dedmon, Mario Hezonja, Jason Smith and Aaron Gordon.

Payton scored 12 of his 20 in the fourth quarter as he snapped out of a confounding slump.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Kent Bazemore scored a career-high 25, and the host Hawks beat the Wizards 114-99 for their seventh straight victory. … Andrew Wiggins scored 31, and the visiting Timberwolves beat the Bulls 102-93 in overtime. … Kawhi Leonard scored 23 and the host Spurs pulled away for a 114-94 victory over the Hornets. … Greg Monroe had 20 points and eight rebounds, leading the host Bucks 94-86 over the winless Nets. … Deron Williams had 16 of his 19 points in the second half as the host Mavericks kept the Pelicans winless with a 107-98 win.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Clippers point guard Chris Paul was ruled out because of a sore right groin.

Magic 105, 76ers 97

ORLANDO (105): Fournier 7-12 0-0 17, Harris 3-7 3-4 9, Dedmon 2-6 8-8 12, Payton 8-10 4-4 20, Oladipo 6-18 2-2 15, Smith 4-8 2-2 10, Hezonja 5-11 0-0 11, Gordon 4-7 1-2 10, Watson 0-3 0-0 0, Napier 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 39-83 21-24 105.

PHILADELPHIA (97): Grant 4-7 2-3 11, Noel 1-4 0-0 2, Okafor 7-14 5-10 19, McConnell 3-9 0-0 6, Stauskas 6-15 3-4 18, Holmes 4-5 0-0 8, Sampson 0-1 1-2 1, Pressey 1-3 1-3 3, Thompson 2-6 1-3 6, Canaan 8-16 1-1 23, Wood 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-80 14-26 97.

Orlando 25 26 30 24— 105

Philadelphia 17 27 29 24— 97

3-Point GoalsOrlando 6-13 (Fournier 3-4, Hezonja 1-1, Oladipo 1-3, Gordon 1-3, Watson 0-1, Harris 0-1), Philadelphia 11-33 (Canaan 6-12, Stauskas 3-10, Grant 1-3, Thompson 1-4, McConnell 0-1, Holmes 0-1, Pressey 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsOrlando 51 (Dedmon 9), Philadelphia 52 (McConnell 8). AssistsOrlando 24 (Watson 7), Philadelphia 24 (McConnell 9). Total FoulsOrlando 23, Philadelphia 20. Flagrant Fouls—Noel. A15,207 (20,318).

Hawks 114, Wizards 99

WASHINGTON (99): Porter 8-12 4-4 23, Humphries 3-10 2-2 9, Gortat 4-8 2-2 10, Wall 6-16 5-5 19, Beal 5-12 1-1 11, Dudley 2-5 0-0 4, Sessions 2-2 0-0 4, Neal 3-7 0-0 8, Nene 5-6 0-1 10, Temple 0-0 1-2 1, Oubre Jr. 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-78 15-17 99.

ATLANTA (114): Bazemore 10-15 1-1 25, Millsap 6-14 6-6 21, Horford 5-13 4-4 14, Teague 4-16 0-0 10, Korver 3-6 0-0 7, Muscala 3-4 0-0 7, Sefolosha 4-5 2-2 10, Schroder 3-10 0-0 6, Scott 3-3 2-2 8, Holiday 2-6 0-0 6, Tavares 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 43-92 15-15 114.

Washington 19 26 33 21— 99

Atlanta 19 22 34 39— 114

3-Point GoalsWashington 8-24 (Porter 3-5, Neal 2-4, Wall 2-6, Humphries 1-5, Beal 0-2, Dudley 0-2), Atlanta 13-33 (Bazemore 4-7, Millsap 3-6, Teague 2-4, Holiday 2-5, Muscala 1-1, Korver 1-3, Horford 0-3, Schroder 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsWashington 46 (Nene, Gortat 10), Atlanta 45 (Horford 9). AssistsWashington 27 (Wall 12), Atlanta 37 (Teague 8). Total FoulsWashington 18, Atlanta 15. A18,047 (18,729).

Wolves 102, Bulls 93, OT

MINNESOTA (102): Prince 4-9 0-1 8, Garnett 1-2 0-2 2, Towns 8-18 1-1 17, Rubio 2-10 3-4 7, Wiggins 11-27 5-10 31, Dieng 3-6 0-0 6, Bjelica 5-9 5-6 17, Muhammad 1-4 2-2 4, LaVine 3-9 1-1 8, Payne 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 39-96 17-27 102.

CHICAGO (93): McDermott 4-5 0-0 11, Mirotic 1-8 2-2 4, Gasol 8-19 5-6 21, Rose 3-13 4-5 11, Butler 4-15 3-6 11, Noah 1-6 1-2 3, Brooks 4-9 0-0 10, Snell 5-10 0-0 14, Gibson 1-4 1-2 3, Moore 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 33-93 16-23 93.

Minnesota 30 28 18 17 9— 102

Chicago 28 29 20 16 0— 93

3-Point GoalsMinnesota 7-16 (Wiggins 4-5, Bjelica 2-6, LaVine 1-3, Prince 0-1, Rubio 0-1), Chicago 11-32 (Snell 4-6, McDermott 3-4, Brooks 2-5, Moore 1-1, Rose 1-4, Mirotic 0-5, Butler 0-7). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMinnesota 69 (Towns 13), Chicago 65 (Gasol 14). AssistsMinnesota 26 (Rubio 10), Chicago 20 (Noah 7). Total FoulsMinnesota 23, Chicago 26. TechnicalsGarnett. A21,988 (20,917).

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