The Orlando Magic secured another victory on Friday night, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers and marking their first 2-0 start since the 2020-21 season. The Magic showcased their defensive prowess once again by limiting the Blazers to 97 points on a mere 39.8 percent shooting and causing 16 turnovers.
While the team’s defense was commendable, the spotlight shone brightest on the Wagner brothers. Franz Wagner delivered an outstanding performance, leading the team with 23 points and collecting five rebounds. Meanwhile, Mo Wagner left an indelible mark coming off the bench, registering 17 points, nine rebounds, and showcasing impeccable efficiency by going 8-for-8 from the field.
Despite the Magic leading by as much as 13 points with just 5:35 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Blazers rallied to narrow the margin. The Wagner brothers, however, took command in the dying moments, contributing a combined 16 of the team’s 20 points in the last quarter, ensuring the Magic’s win.
Reflecting on the match and their partnership, Franz Wagner commended his brother’s performance, stating, “I think everybody in the gym notices it, when he’s out there on the court and it’s on both sides of the court, so it’s awesome for everybody out there, gives us definitely another push. I mean obviously had a super efficient night, great rhythm on offense, gives us great rhythm on offense for the whole group and made plays. Pick and roll defense, got a charge, made stuff hard for their guards in the pick and roll situation. So, I think he did helluva job today.”
Mo Wagner expressed gratitude for the unique opportunity to play alongside his brother, not just in the NBA but also in the FIBA World Cup.
“I mean yeah, we are kind of at the point where it gets kind of boring. No I’m just kidding, I mean it’s amazing dude, like we are so privileged. We always remind each other also with the FIBA stuff this summer. I don’t think we can grasp really what we are living here, what type of life, there’s not much else to say about that, it’s a little overwhelming. I’m just trying to enjoy it everyday, embrace it everyday, we drive to work together, we live together, have our family around in this business, that’s not to take for granted so I embrace that everyday. Yeah, you rarely see me not happy about that,” Mo remarked.
Having secured a notable victory against the Blazers, the Magic are setting their sights on the challenges ahead during their west coast expedition. They are bracing for a rigorous back-to-back contest, squaring off against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night, followed by a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.