NBA: 76ers hand Magic first loss of season


Posted at Jan 01 2021 12:39 PM

NBA: 76ers hand Magic first loss of season 1
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) guards against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Joel Embiid scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Seth Curry added 21 points and the visiting Philadelphia 76ers crushed the previously undefeated Orlando Magic 116-92 on Friday

Curry made five 3-pointers and the Sixers converted 15 of 33 attempts from long range (45.5 percent).

Tobias Harris contributed 20 points and nine rebounds while Shake Milton scored 14 points for the Sixers, who won their second in a row and improved to 4-1. Ben Simmons contributed nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 19 points and 10 rebounds while rookie Cole Anthony added 16 points. Orlando, which played its fifth game of the season, became the last team in the league to lose.

The Sixers had dropped their last four meetings at Orlando.

Philadelphia built an early 21-point lead thanks to 6-of-10 shooting from 3-point territory and led 38-22 after the first quarter.

The 76ers stayed aggressive in the second and were ahead 51-25 when Matisse Thybulle converted a three-point play with 8:31 remaining in the half. Thybulle hadn't scored in each of the first four games.

Orlando's Evan Fournier scored three first-quarter points in eight minutes before leaving with back spasms. He didn't return the rest of the way.

Without Fournier, the Magic struggled to find their offensive rhythm and trailed 75-40 at halftime. It was the Sixers' fourth-largest halftime lead in franchise history.

Embiid paced the Sixers with 16 points before the break, and Philadelphia was 10 of 17 from long distance in the opening 24 minutes.

The Magic, meanwhile, missed 14 of their 17 first-half shots from beyond the arc.

Orlando was clearly frustrated as Vucevic (second quarter) and Aaron Gordon (third quarter) each received a technical fouls.

Embiid, who appeared to be raked across the face by Anthony with 2:06 left in the third, spent the remainder of the game on the bench.

Since the contest was well in hand, both teams emptied their benches for the entire fourth quarter. Dwight Howard, who backs up Embiid, even dropped in a deep 3-pointer.