The Orlando Magic got hot in the first quarter against the Phoneix Suns on Friday and never looked back.
They dominated all facets of the game and led almost wire to wire against the Western Conference power, winning all phases of the game from the glass to the 3-point line to the offense and the defense.
They led by seven after one quarter thanks to some hot shooting and rode that confidence to a 114-97 win in one of their best overall performances of the season.
Orlando was pulled together offensively, recording 23 assists on 43 field goals and shooting 52.4 percent. The defense was on a string. It was a huge factor as the Magic held a team to less than 100 points for the fourth time this year.
Offensively and defensively the Magic had a great game and these were the top performers of the night:
The top performance of the night goes to Wendell Carter.
Carter secured his sixth double-double in 13 games with his 20-point, 10-rebound, 5-assists and 1-block game. Carter was everywhere this game. He was scoring in all aspects and playing great defense. He protected the paint and helped hold the Suns to only 44 points in the paint.
He has been a bulwark in the paint all season long, even if he does not always have great highlight plays. But wherever the Magic put him, whether that was helping lock up Deandre Ayton inside or switching onto Devin Booker on the perimeter, he was up to the challenge.
Carter was even better offensively.
He scored 20 points and hit shots from everywhere. He is finally getting back into a three-point rhythm after struggling to start the season. After starting the season 5 for 24 from three in the first month of the season, he has been shooting 9 for 18 in November.
His three-point outburst has been important for a struggling shooting Magic team as he hit two in Friday’s win.
He was also a great playmaker. He scored 20 but was responsible for 31 points thanks to his passing. Inside or out, the Suns had to account for him.
He was even aggressive on the offensive boards with three offensive rebounds that led to six second-point chance points for him and the Magic.
He was great everywhere except efficiency. He shot 7 for 15 from the field, and seemed to settle for jump shots once again. This is something he still needs to work on. He also was a little weak going up in the paint. He needs to take strong takes and convert when he gets the ball in the lane.
Bol Bol was once again a top player on the court for the Magic.
Bol dominated the game on the boards with a career-high 15 rebounds. He was grabbing open and contested rebounds all night and took them up the court to start fast break opportunities.
He was also great offensively. Even though he started off slow with a few turnovers, he picked it up and had a great night. He had 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting, and 3 for 3 from three. Ever since he entered the starting lineup he is been so great and efficient.
He did a great job protecting the paint and playing perimeter defense to. He can guard all over but was a little block-heavy. He jumped for a lot of blocks that lead to easy points for the Suns. He had the second-highest plus/minus with a +15 rating and even added an assist that led to an easy Mo Bamba layup.
He has really improved this season and has his averages up to 11.3 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, and 2.1 blocks.
Jalen Suggs continues to put in some promising performances as he gets his legs back under him and starts to show the improvements he worked on after his uneven rookie season.
His biggest impact came on the defensive end once again. He was pesky hounding whoever he was guarding and taking his turn on Devin Booker. The Suns’ superstar made only 6 of 19 shots for 17 points. It was a team effort with Chuma Okeke getting the primary defensive assignment. But everyone worked hard to keep him on the perimeter taking tough, contest shots.
He was just as good offensively. In a bounce-back sophomore season for Suggs so far he was really efficient scoring the ball Friday. He had 16 points on 12 shots and shot 58.3 percent from the field. He added five assists with that. He was responsible for 29 points and showed that he can be a primary ball handler.
He showed he can repeatedly make plays on offense and can be the point guard for the Magic. He made great decisions all night and led this big offense all night.
Suggs has bounced back from a minor injury a few games ago and has his averages up to 12.6 points per game, 4.9 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game.
R.J Hampton has finally found a role off the bench and played great in the last few games. After averaging 5.3 points on 45.5-percent shooting in the first month of the season, he is now averaging 8.0 points per game on 52.4-percent shooting.
His time is still limited and his place in the rotation is not clear. But Hampton is making theh most of the opportunities he is getting right now.
Friday against the Suns he had eight points on 3-for-3 shooting, making both of his 3-pointers and adding two assists, a block and a steal.
His offense was efficient like normal, but his defense finally showed.
His fourth block of the season and his eighth steal of the season showed he is willing to put in work on either side of the ball to win. His athleticism and defensive IQ showed as he was a great spark for the Magic offensively and defensively.
Offensively he was just as much of a spark. He was responsible for 14 points and showed he can be a solid backup guard for the Magic.
He only played 11 minutes but will surely see more with performances like these. He had a +11 plus/minus and had another great game like he needed to continue to secure more minutes and a spot in the Magic’s future.
Hampton gets his averages to 6.4 points per game, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists on the season as he hopes to take on a bigger role after having such a great start to the month.