Wagner’s Second-Half Surge Lifts Magic To 111-99 Win Over Pistons

Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, NBA News
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Franz Wagner matched his career-high in points with 38 points, propelling the Orlando Magic to a 111-99 victory over the Detroit Pistons during Sunday’s NBA action, marking their third consecutive win.

Wagner, particularly dominant in the second half, scored 27 of his total points, showcasing remarkable efficiency by not attempting a single free throw.

Magic coach Jamahl Mosley praised Wagner for his exceptional poise and ability to penetrate the defense, highlighting the rarity of achieving such a high score without free throws.

“(Franz) was incredible. I thought he played with a high level of poise,” Mosley said. “He attacked the basket 22 times and scored 38 points without shooting a free throw. That’s impressive.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic, Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons Updates

Paolo Banchero contributed 20 points, and the Magic benefited from the local connections of Wagner, his brother Moritz Wagner, and Gary Harris—all familiar faces to Little Caesars Arena fans due to their Michigan collegiate backgrounds—combining for 58 points.

Wagner focused on creating opportunities by driving into the paint, facilitated by his teammates’ effective shooting. The Pistons, struggling this season with a 6-43 record, saw Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey each adding 18 points.

“We were down early, so I was trying to get into the paint and make some plays,” Wagner said. “That is a lot easier when the other guys are hitting shots like they did today.”

The game intensified in the fourth quarter, with Wagner and Harris leading a scoring rally for the Magic. Wagner’s performance, including a notable 3-pointer that quieted the home crowd, was part of a critical stretch that saw Orlando pull away.

Despite a brief Pistons’ resurgence, led by Jalen Duren‘s efforts, the Magic maintained control. Mosley commended his team’s focus and execution, irrespective of the Pistons’ challenging season.

“I like the way we played the game on the floor and didn’t focus on Detroit’s record,” Mosley said. “We were coming off a big win in Minnesota, and we played the right way and did what it took to come away with another one.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic, Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons Updates

Pistons coach Monty Williams pointed out defensive lapses and turnovers as key factors in their defeat, acknowledging Orlando’s defensive prowess.

“We didn’t do a good enough job of guarding the ball, and we had too many costly turnovers,” Williams said. “That gave them some transition points, and there were plays where we got confused on the switches we were making when they went to the post and back outside.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic, Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons Updates

Orlando’s win was underpinned by a balanced effort, including a significant third-quarter contribution from Wagner and a strong finish from Ausar Thompson, despite his wish for a team victory. The Magic’s ability to outscore the Pistons significantly in the final quarter sealed their win.

“I was comfortable out there,” Thompson said. “I was trying to be aggressive, but it would have been nice to finish it with a win.”

Looking ahead, the Magic are set to face the Miami Heat, while the Pistons will challenge the Sacramento Kings in their upcoming matchups.

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