News 1 week ago

Magic end 4-game skid with 109-103 win over Suns

The Associated Press — By JOSE M. ROMERO - Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — Evan Fournier scored 25 points, and the Orlando Magic ended a four-game losing streak with a 109-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Nikola Vucevic, playing on a gimpy ankle that he rolled Thursday night at Golden State, scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in 32 minutes. Aaron Gordon added 17 points, and Terrence Ross made a 3-pointer with 2:07 to play that gave Orlando a 107-98 lead that the Suns couldn't overcome.

T.J. Warren's 26 points led the Suns, who have lost five of six. Rookie point guard Tyler Ulis, making his second career NBA start, scored 19 points and added eight assists.

Suns leading scorer Devin Booker was held to 10 points and didn't score until the third quarter.

The Magic led by as many 14 points in the first quarter, going on a 15-0 run during one stretch after trailing 14-13. Fournier hit a pair of 3s and scored 11 first-quarter points, while Warren led the Suns with eight.

Phoenix had nine turnovers in the first 12 minutes.

The Suns went on a run of their own in the second quarter, tying the score at 32 when Ulis tossed a lob to Derrick Jones Jr. for a dunk at the 8:20 mark. But the Magic got hot again, going from a 42-40 lead to a 52-42 advantage after a 3 from Gordon with 3:57 to go.

The Suns ended the half well, led by Alan Williams and Ulis. Williams scored eight of his 10 second-quarter points in the final three minutes and Ulis scored 12 points in the second quarter, trimming the Magic lead to 60-58 at the break.

Phoenix took a 70-65 lead when Ulis delivered a sharp bounce pass to Warren for a layup with 8:03 to go in the third quarter. But the Magic rallied to take the lead again before the Suns took an 85-84 lead into the final quarter.

Suns forward Marquese Chriss left the game in the third quarter after a collision that required four stitches above his right eye. He returned to the bench before the fourth started and got back into the game.


Magic: The Magic improved to 8-10 all-time on St. Patrick's Day. ... The Magic have made at least one 3-pointer in 808 consecutive games, a streak that started on March 17, 2007. ... Fournier has scored in double figures in 49 games this season.

Suns: G Leandro Barbosa did not play due to illness. ... Jones played despite dealing with a deep tailbone and lower back bruise. ... The Suns appear committed to playing their youngsters for the rest of the season. G Eric Bledsoe and G Brandon Knight have been shut down, and C Tyson Chandler hasn't played since before the All-Star break. Phoenix used nine players Friday.


Gordon, who has taken part in the past two NBA Slam Dunk Contests at All-Star Weekend, had the two dunks of the night when he dribbled up court, crossed over Ulis and soared high for a jam with 6:50 to go in the third quarter. Then he caught a lob from Elfrid Payton and with one hand, stuffed the ball before hitting the floor hard with 4:53 to play. It gave the Magic a 97-94 lead.


Suns guard Ronnie Price, signed for the duration of the season on Feb. 24, was the only backup at point guard to Ulis on Friday. He played a season-high 20 minutes.


Magic: Return home for the next three games, starting with Philadelphia on Monday.

Suns: Open six-game road trip Sunday at Detroit.