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Busts slump with 21 points

Fri, Dec 22 2023 8:13 PST

The News
Wagner racked up 21 points (10-15 FG, 1-4 3Pt), eight rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal over 27 minutes during Thursday's 118-114 loss to the Bucks.

Our View
After recording double-digit points in 10 straight games between Nov. 17 and Dec. 6, Wagner came into Thursday averaging just 6.2 points over his previous five contests. That was partly due to a reduction in playing time, but the big man essentially forced his way onto the court against Milwaukee with an efficient 10-for-15, 21-point effort to lead Orlando's second unit. Meanwhile, Goga Bitadze didn't play at all after working as the team's starting center during Wendell Carter's recent 20-game absence. Carter has started both of the Magic's games since returning Wednesday, so Wagner and Bitadze may ultimately have to split backup minutes, though Thursday's rotation suggests that coach Jamahl Mosley may elect to roll with whoever is exhibiting a hot hand.

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