Markelle Fultz’s career-high 28 points lift Magic to road win over Clippers

Before the Orlando Magic’s 113-108 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, coach Jamahl Mosley addressed the “little pieces” of Markelle Fultz’s game that “go unnoticed.”

“His level of communication with his teammates, getting guys in the right position. Play consistently with a sense of joy for the game. Those are the little things he gives this team,” Mosley said.

“The pace we play has changed because of the way he pushes the basketball.”

Fultz (career-high 28 points to go with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals) showed it all Saturday when needed, helping the Magic complete the fourth-quarter comeback to give them their first win of their four-match road trip.

His 4 steals in the first quarter set the tone defensively and helped the Magic score points easily in transition. Magic finished with a game-high 14 steals.

But with 4:44 to go, with the Magic holding a 93-91 lead after trailing 82-74, Fultz took his game to another level.

The sixth-year guard scored 12 of his 28 points in the game’s final 4:36.

Fultz pressured the rim late, converting layups, getting to the free throw line or assisting teammates for scoring opportunities, such as Wendell Carter Jr.’s alley-oop to give the Magic a late lead with 104-99.

“I’m so proud of this young man,” Mosley said. “Never walk into the building without a smile on your face. You see there is such a level of joy in his heart to play basketball. This appears.

“You can take the number and just the way he plays. The way he has passion for his colleagues. Whatever it takes to get a win, he will try to do it. That’s what’s so special about him and how his teammates feel about him.”

Carter finished with 27 points (11-of-19 shooting, 4-of-8 3-pointers), 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.

Carter blocked Russell Westbrook at the rim with 1:34 left, prompting Fultz to grab the defensive rebound, pushing the ball in transition before converting the layup to give the Magic a 106-99 lead.

“In short, being able to get a big stop when it mattered and make shots and get baskets when it mattered,” Mosley said. “Our guys did a great job of that. They resisted the run.”

Paul George (30 points) scored 5 consecutive points to cut the Magic’s lead.

But Franz Wagner hit a stepback 3 over Robert Covington to give the Magic a 109-104 lead with 40.7 seconds left. Fultz sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 17.5 seconds left.

“It was huge,” Mosley said of Wagner’s goal. “The great thing about Franz is that his teammates trust him to step up in that moment and make the big shots. That’s how these guys have played all year when it comes to each other’s trust factor.”

Cole Anthony had 18 points (7-of-14 shooting) and 8 rebounds in 29 minutes off the bench, giving the Magic a boost early in the fourth so they could retake the lead before late plays by Carter, Fultz and Wagner to seal the game. victory.

Sophomore guard Jalen Suggs was unavailable with a concussion.

The Magic (29-42) will face the Lakers (34-37) on Sunday night in Los Angeles in the second day of a back-to-back to conclude their four-game road trip.

This article first appeared on Email Khobi Price at or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.


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