By Tommy Matthews
The Sixers looked like NBA title contenders on Saturday when they beat the best in West Nuggets.
But they looked like trash last night against the East dead-ender Orlando Magic.
Paolo Banchero had 29 points and 10 rebounds as the Magic stormed back from a 21-point first-quarter deficit to beat the Sixers 119-109.
Mo Wagner scored 22 points and his younger brother Franz Wagner scored 19 for the Magic, who stopped a three-game skid and ended the Sixers’ seven-game winning streak.
It was the latest win over one of the NBA’s top teams for the Magic, who improved to 15-11 since their 6-20 start.
Joel Embiid had 30 points and 11 rebounds for Philadelphia, his 27th game this season scoring 30 or more and his ninth in the past 10. But he also led the Sixers in turnovers with six, got into foul trouble in the fourth quarter and was visibly frustrated by Orlando’s physical defense.
The Magic forced 19 turnovers and held Philly to 19 points in the fourth quarter. The 21-point deficit was the largest Orlando has overcome this season and the sixth-largest in franchise history.