Magic's fourth-quarter surge too much for Clippers

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Field Level Media
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Mar 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) controls the ball against Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. (8) during the first half at Crypto.com Arena.
Mar 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) controls the ball against Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. (8) during the first half at Crypto.com Arena.
Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Wendell Carter Jr. scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Markelle Fultz added a team-high 28 points, and the Orlando Magic dominated the fourth quarter en route to a 113-108 defeat of the host Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Orlando (29-42) came in having lost 5 of 6, while Orlando had a four-game winning streak. After sputtering through a 17-point third quarter in which Los Angeles surged ahead to an eight-point lead, the Magic appeared headed for a third straight loss.

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However, a 39-26 fourth quarter flipped the contest around. Orlando shot 15 of 25 in the period, including knocking down four 3-pointers to just one for Los Angeles over the final 12 minutes.

Carter shot 5 of 7 in the final period and Fultz made all four of his field-goal attempts in the closing quarter. Fultz effectively put the game away in the final 29 seconds with a layup to extend the Magic lead to five points, 111-106, then made a pair of free throws down the stretch to seal it.

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Franz Wagner added 20 points in the win, while Cole Anthony came off the bench to score 18 points and grab eight rebounds.

Los Angeles (37-34) played Saturday without Kawhi Leonard for the first time since its last loss, a March 3 defeat at Sacramento. Leonard scored 30-plus points in three of the Clippers' four straight wins preceding Saturday's defeat, but sat against Orlando for maintenance of a right knee injury.

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Paul George took up the slack, scoring a game-high 30 points. Ivica Zubac added 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook posted 14 points and nine assists.

One game removed from going without a turnover, however, Westbrook committed six of Los Angeles' 15 turnovers in Saturday's loss.

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The Clippers made as many total field goals as the Magic, going 42 of 90 to Orlando's 42 of 84, but a woeful 6-of-22 shooting from 3-point range compared to 10 of 31 for the visitors made the difference.

--Field Level Media