Magic drop 5th straight as Bucks run away for victory

Roy Parry, Orlando Sentinel
·3 min read

The Milwaukee Bucks ended their losing streak and kept the Orlando Magic’s going.

Khris Middleton scored 21 points as the Bucks put six players in double figures and rolled to a 124-87 victory Sunday against the Magic before a crowd of 3,316 at Amway Center.

Milwaukee has beaten Orlando by an average of 29.5 points in two wins this season.

Mo Bamba finished with a career-high 21 points to lead the Magic (17-36), who lost their fifth straight. Bamba was 5-for-6 from the 3-point line as he matched his career-high for 3s. He also made five on Nov. 27, 2019 in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.

Cole Anthony was the only other Magic player in double figures with 12 points.

Bobby Portis sank four 3s and finished with 16 points for Milwaukee, which snapped a three-game losing streak. The Bucks (34-20) played without All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Magic, meanwhile, had to use their 25th starting lineup this season as rookie forward Chuma Okeke sat because of a sore right hip. Newly-acquired shooting guard Gary Harris made his first Magic start as James Ennis shifted over to the power forward spot.

Orlando’s recent personnel moves — trading Aaron Gordon, Gary Clark and Al-Farouq Aminu and waiving Khem Birch — thinned its power forward depth. The team plans to sign forwards Robert Franks and Donta Hall to 10-day contracts to reinstate some of that depth, but those moves were of no help Sunday.

Milwaukee’s ball movement — 28 assists on 46 field goals — and 3-point shooting were too much for Orlando.

The Bucks, who never trailed, were on pace to make 24 3s after the first quarter but wound up 19-of-40 from behind the arc. Six players made at least two 3-pointers.

The Magic, meanwhile, struggled from behind the arc outside of Bamba’s proficiency. While Bamba went 5-for-6, the rest of the Magic were 3-for-30 (10%).

The Magic trailed 66-48 early in the third quarter before a 7-0 burst gave them some momentum and pulled them within 13. Then after a Milwaukee turnover, Wendell Carter Jr. dunked a missed layup by Harris, but the ball was still on the rim and the basket was waived off for interference.

The Bucks responded with 11 of the next 15 points to build a 79-59 lead.

Milwaukee opened the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run, capped by a Portis 3, to go up 95-67 with 9:25 to play.

The lead reached as many as 35 points, and the teams emptied their benches with about four minutes to play.

Orlando closes its four-game homestand Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs. The game tips off at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Florida.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Roy Parry at rparry@orlandosentinel.com. Follow on Twitter @osroyparry