Magic hang on for 100-96 win

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Magic hang on for 100-96 win

Nate Marrero, Sports Editor

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Behind a big night from Evan Fournier and key defensive stops, the Orlando Magic were able to squeak out a 100-96 win at home over the Golden State Warriors. 

With a 98-96 lead and 6.3 seconds left in the game, Orlando (8-11), turned the ball over with a five-second violation. Following a timeout by Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Alec Burks took the potential game-winning three, but the shot hit off the rim. Aaron Gordon was subsequently fouled and with 0.4 seconds left, he made both free throws to end the game. 

Fournier tied a career-high with 32 points, including making six of his 10 three-pointers. His biggest points of the game came when he made a layup over Draymond Green with 7.3 seconds left in the game to give Orlando a 98-95 lead. 

“I thought it was a foul, to be honest,” Fournier said of the play. “We had the switch with Draymond, I hit a three early on and I felt like he was waiting for me to just step back so you know I just took my chances to get to the rim.”

“It was a great play,” Magic head coach Steve Clifford said of Fournier’s layup. “He’s not just scoring, he’s scoring efficiently. I mean, 32 points on 21 shots – that’s efficient offense.”

Jonathan Isaac had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Markelle Fultz scored 14 points and had nine assists with no turnovers. 

Six players scored double digits for the Warriors (4-17). Glenn Robinson III led the team with 19 points. Willie Cauley-Stein had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Draymond Green also had 11 points and led the team with six assists. 

In the first half, Golden State scored 34 of their 51 points in the paint. Orlando’s defense did a much better job of slowing them down in the paint in the second half and held the Warriors to just 14 points in the second half. 

“We were in better stances,” Clifford said of the defensive adjustments in the paint. “We moved our feet better, we had more determination.”

Orlando will be back in action on Tuesday when they go on the road to face the Washington Wizards (6-11), at 7 p.m.

“That’s the best offense in the league,” Fournier said of the Wizards. “We’re gonna have to play defense. Last game we had them on their heels, we were up 15 in the 4th quarter and all of a sudden they hit four or five threes in a row and it was a tight game. It’s going to be a dangerous game, we’re gonna have to play hard and stay disciplined on defense.”