Orlando Magic Grades: Orlando Magic 122, Washington Wizards 101

D.J. Augustin had the Washington Wizards chasing him as the Orlando Magic pulled away for a win. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
D.J. Augustin had the Washington Wizards chasing him as the Orlando Magic pulled away for a win. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic are hoping for good news after Jonathan Isaac left with a nasty knee injury. But they rallied to win in his absence Wednesday.

101. 38. 122. 142. Final

The whole Orlando Magic world could hear a pin drop just two minutes into the game. It felt like everything was going to collapse and the whole tenor of the season would change again.

Jonathan Isaac did what he always does. He smothered Bradley Beal and used his length to tip the ball away. He picked up the ball near mid-court and started a fast break with Evan Fournier running alongside him. Bradley Beal had recovered enough while Jonathan Isaac gathered the ball to get in front of him.

Isaac attacked and went up toward the basket. Beal could not get in front of him fast enough or out the way fast enough. Isaac’s long left leg wrapped around Beal, sending both to the ground and Isaac in a heap of pain.

He stayed on the floor in pain before getting stretchered off the court. The team said he had hyperextended his left knee and he would be re-evaluated following a MRI back in Orlando on Thursday.

After the game both coach Steve Clifford and Jonathan Isaac seemed extremely optimistic about his prognosis, both saying they believed they avoided the worst.

Somehow Orlando would have to press on. The team will have to press on in the meantime and they had to press on with almost an entire game in front of it against the Washington Wizards.

The Magic slowly found their footing. They slowly got the ball moving against a Wizards team that has had no interest in defending all year. They got their defense in check, locking down the glass. They dictated the tempo for a 122-101 win over the Wizards at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.

After the shock of the injury and the new playing groups wore off, the Magic exerted their will. They dug out the Wizards defensively, holding them to one shot and contesting everything in the paint and from beyond the arc. After a foul-filled first half, the Magic were disciplined and flying to the ball to force the Wizards into uncomfortable shots.

The Magic took those stops and turned them into their pace. The Magic shot 47.4 percent from the floor and hit 12 3-pointers, getting shots off cuts and ball movement. They had 25 assists on 45 field goals and 13 fast-break points.

Orlando got wherever it wanted, often beating Washington off the dribble. After what seemed like a crushing loss, the Magic rallied and played one of the best halves of the season, outscoring the Wizards 60-43.

The Magic took a four-point halftime lead and extended the lead all the way to 25. They never let up and they got what they wanted for a complete win.

PG. Orlando Magic. D.J. AUGUSTIN. A+. <a href=

A-. D.J. Augustin was good and his scoring helped the Orlando Magic take a big lead in the game. He was the reason they got separation. But <a href=. PG. Orlando Magic. MARKELLE FULTZ

Orlando Magic. KHEM BIRCH. A. <a href=. C

B+. <a href=. G/F. Orlando Magic. TERRENCE ROSS

WASHINGTON WIZARDS. F. The Washington Wizards welcomed Bradley Beal back to the lineup and having that kind of an offensive weapon certainly makes this already potent offense stronger. He has won plenty of games with his own shotmaking. Beal finished with 27 points and five assists. He hit eight of his 20 shots for the game. He was chucking.<p>And that is just how the Wizards play, unfortunately. They are looking to get down the court and shoot quickly, even if the shot is ill-advised. They did not do a good job moving the ball or working for good 3-pointers. The Orlando Magic did a good job congesting driving and passing lanes. They were flying around and their effort on that end was focused and strong.</p><p>The Wizards do not have much to fall back on if they are slowed down in any way. Their defense just is not good and it was even worse in this game. They failed to corral ball-handlers or even step up in help to stop penetration. Too often they were caught with cutters running behind unsuspecting players. The Magic stole plenty of points off that alone.</p>. 10-23. 13th East

Next. Orlando Magic's 2020 New Year's Resolutions. dark

The Orlando Magic improve to 15-19. They are two games behind the Brooklyn Nets for seventh in the Eastern Conference and two games ahead of the Chicago Bulls for eighth. They are back in action Friday against the Miami Heat to start a four-game homestand.