NBA: Magic’s fourth-quarter surge too much for Clippers
Wendell Carter Jr. scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Markelle Fultz added a team-high 28 points and the Orlando Magic dominated the fourth quarter en route to a 113-108 defeat of the host Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
Orlando (29-42) came in having lost five of its last six, while the Clippers had a four-game winning streak. After sputtering through a 17-point third quarter in which Los Angeles surged ahead to an eight-point lead, the Magic appeared headed for a third straight loss.
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However, a 39-26 fourth quarter flipped the contest around. Orlando shot 15 of 25 in the period, including knocking down four 3-pointers to just one for Los Angeles over the final 12 minutes.
Carter shot 5 of 7 in the final period and Fultz made all four of his field-goal attempts in the closing quarter. Fultz effectively put the game away in the final 29 seconds with a layup to extend the Magic lead to five points, 111-106, then made a pair of free throws down the stretch to seal it.
Franz Wagner added 20 points in the win, while Cole Anthony came off the bench to score 18 points and grab eight rebounds.
Los Angeles (37-34) played without Kawhi Leonard for the first time since its last loss, a March 3 defeat at Sacramento. Leonard scored 30-plus points in three of the Clippers’ four straight wins preceding Saturday’s defeat but sat against Orlando for maintenance of a right knee injury.
Paul George took up the slack, scoring a game-high 30 points. Ivica Zubac added 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook posted 14 points and nine assists.
However, one game removed from going without a turnover, Westbrook committed six of Los Angeles’ 15 giveaways in Saturday’s loss.
The Clippers made as many total field goals as the Magic, going 42 of 90 to Orlando’s 42 of 84, but a woeful 6-of-22 shooting performance from 3-point range compared to 10 of 31 for the visitors made the difference.
–Field Level Media
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