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    Franz Wagner stars as Magic deal Hawks seventh straight home loss

    Dec 23, 2021
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    Franz Wagner goes 10 for 24 in 36 minutes of action.
    PHOTO: AP

    ATLANTA — Franz Wagner scored 25 points, Robin Lopez had 10 points and a career-high 11 assists, and the Orlando Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks, 104-98, in a matchup of short-handed teams on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time).

    Cam Reddish finished with a season-high 36 points and John Collins had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who have lost seven straight at home.

    Both teams had to make plenty of adjustments before the game with so many players in health and safety protocols.

    Hawks guard Kevin Huerter was taken out of the starting lineup after a positive test, joining Lou Williams and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot in protocols on Wednesday. Collins was the only regular in Atlanta's lineup. Bogdan Bogdanovich returned after missing eight games with a right ankle sprain and scored six points.

    Atlanta was already without leading scorer Trae Young, leading rebounder Clint Capela and reserve forward Danilo Gallinari. The Hawks started Reddish, Gorgui Dieng, Delon Wright and Skylar May with Collins. They had 11 players dressed.

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    Magic guard Mychal Mulder joined five teammates in protocols. Terrence Ross, Mo Bamba, Moritz Wagner, R.J. Hampton and Ignas Brazdeikis were the others. Orlando had only four regulars — Wagner, Gary Harris, Chuma Okeke and Lopez — who weren't listed on the pregame injury report.

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    Leading scorer Cole Anthony (right ankle sprain) and Wendell Carter Jr. (right leg muscle strain) were game-time decisions, and both were ruled out. Wagner, Harris, Okeke, Lopez and rookie Hassani Gravett started. The Magic had 10 players dressed.

    Aleem Ford's fast-break layup put the Magic back up by double digits early in the fourth quarter, and B.J. Johnson followed with a 22-footer that made it 76-63 before Lopez came through with a runner that caused the Hawks to call timeout with 9:12 remaining.

    Wagner's three-point play pushed the lead to 89-73 with 6:27 left in the game. Wagner's runner at the 4:49 mark put the Magic up by 17 before Reddish's 3 pulled Atlanta within 10 and Orlando called timeout with 3:29 remaining.

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    The Hawks got as close as eight, but Gary Harris hit a pair of free throws to push the lead back to 10 and Orlando was never threatened again after Chuma Okeke buried a 3 from the left corner to make it 99-88.

    Gravett connected with Aleem Ford for an alley-oop dunk to make it 34-25 midway through the second before Bogdanovich hit a runner to trim the lead to 38-32 at the four-minute mark of the period. Freddie Gillespie banked in an eight-footer at the buzzer to give the Magic a 10-point cushion at halftime.

    Gary Harris hit a 3 and Robin Lopez had a fast-break dunk to make it 54-37 early in the third as the Magic got off to a 11-4 start to the period. Gravett's 3 early in the third gave the Magic a 20-point lead, its largest of the game.

    Collins hit a 3 from the left wing to bring the Hawks within double digits at the 2:59 mark and he followed with a put-back jam to make it 63-56. Orlando led 70-61 entering the fourth.

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    Robin LopezRobin Lopez post a huge doble-double for the Magic.

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    Magic: Orlando never trailed after Wagner hit a runner to make it 12-11 midway through the first. ... The Magic missed 15 of 19 3-point attempts in the first half. They finished at 29.7% on treys. ... Only eight of Orlando's 40 rebounds were on the offensive end.

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    Hawks: Had 11 of their 14 turnovers, nine of them on Orlando steals, in the first half. ... McMillan called his first timeout midway through the first after Orlando went on a 9-0 run to make it 19-11.

    UP NEXT

    Magic: Host New Orleans on Thursday.

    Hawks. At Philadelphia on Thursday.

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    Franz Wagner goes 10 for 24 in 36 minutes of action.
    PHOTO: AP
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