Magic beat Wizards130-120 despite Westbrook’s historic night

US and World Sports

Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) shoots as Washington Wizards forward Isaac Bonga (17) and forward Deni Avdija (9) defend in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Washington. (Geoff Burke/Pool Photo via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Orlando Magic beat Washington 130-120 on Saturday night, overcoming another triple-double by Russell Westbrook in his home debut for the Wizards.

Westbrook had 15 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists to become the fourth player in NBA history to record a triple-double in his team’s first two games. Magic Johnson (twice), Jerry Lucas, and Oscar Robertson previously accomplished the feat. Westbrook is the first player to do it with a new team after being acquired from Houston in the off-season for John Wall.

“This one is on me,” Westbrook said after the Wizards dropped to 0-2. “For us we didn’t put ourselves in position to win the game, especially myself. Missing easy shots — it wasn’t nothing that they did.”

Terrence Ross scored 25 points to lead Orlando. Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Markelle Fultz added 21 points to help the Magic win its second straight to start the season.

“I think it was a team effort,” Fultz said about trying to contain Westbrook. “He’s a great player. He gets to the rim. He creates for others. He’s on the glass.”

Bradley Beal had 39 points for the Wizards, while Thomas Bryant had 19.

Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double three straight seasons from 2016-17 to 2018-19 with Oklahoma City, had just two points at the half and finished shooting 6 for 19 from the field.

“I feel fine,” Westbrook said when asked how he felt physically. “I just hate losing.”

Despite the triple-double from Westbrook and big night from Beal – who had 11 points in the fourth – the Magic were in control for most of the game. Washington’s final lead came at 101-100 on a dunk by Robin Lopez with 8:46 left. Orlando then used a 13-2 run in which five different players scored to go up 113-103 and seal the game.

“I think they’re a bear to guard,” Clifford said about the new look Wizards. “They play at a pace that makes it difficult to stay in touch with them.”

Washington has dropped five straight to Orlando.

TIP-INS

Magic: Orlando’s reserves outscored their Wizards counterparts 53-32. … Clifford said pregame that James Ennis (hamstring strain) remained in Orlando to continue his rehab schedule.

Wizards: Coach Scott Brooks said pregame that he wasn’t sure if Westbrook would play in the second half of back-to-backs but is hopeful Davis Bertans play between 18 to 20 minutes. Bertans had nine points in 20 minutes. …

HONORING WES

Washington honored late Hall of Famer Wes Unseld before the game with a moment of silence and video tribute from Beal. The Wizards will wear the number 41 on their jerseys this season. Unseld died on June 20 at the age of 74. Unseld was the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player with the Baltimore Bullets in 1969 and a member of the 1978 NBA Champion Washington Bullets. He would later coach and serve as general manager for the organization.

NEW ENTRANCE

Without fans in attendance both teams entered the floor from behind their respective benches from an entrance usually reserved for hockey.

EASY TWO

Orlando’s Evan Fournier was credited with a layup with 9:46 left in the third after Bryant inadvertently dunked on the wrong basket trying to corral a Fultz miss. Fournier finished with 13.

UP NEXT

The Magic and Wizards will complete their back-to-back in Washington on Sunday. It is the only meeting between the two Southeast division foes in the first half of the NBA schedule release.

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