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NBA 2023/24: Houston Rockets vs Orlando Magic - Key Taking Points | NBA News

The Orlando Magic kick off their 35th anniversary season with a resounding 116-86 victory over the Houston Rockets.

The Orlando Magic kicked off their 35th anniversary season with a bang, as they dominated the Houston Rockets in a thrilling season opener. The bench players, Cole Anthony and Gary Harris, were the heroes of the game, combining for 31 points and leading their team to a resounding 116-86 victory. Anthony stood out with his impressive performance, scoring 20 points and grabbing eight rebounds, while Harris added 11 points and five rebounds. Their remarkable shooting, going 13 for 20 from the floor, played a pivotal role in the team's success. The Magic's bench unit as a whole delivered an impressive 59 points, showcasing the team's depth and versatility.

The game had its fair share of dramatic moments, with the Rockets narrowing a 17-point deficit to just one point early in the third quarter, thanks to a barrage of three-pointers from Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks. However, it was Cole Anthony who emerged as the driving force behind Orlando's resurgent performance. His three-point play with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter not only extended the Magic's lead but also ignited an 18-3 run to close the quarter, leaving the Rockets trailing by 18 points.

In addition to the outstanding performance from the bench, Jonathan Isaac made significant contributions during the decisive moments of the third quarter. In just 14 minutes on the court, he scored 11 points, grabbed four rebounds, and had a crucial block. The depth of Orlando's roster was evident in the performance of their reserves, highlighting the team's versatility and scoring options.

Franz Wagner played a vital role for the Magic, especially in the first quarter, where he scored 11 of his 19 points. His early offensive burst set the tone for the team and helped them establish a double-digit lead. Paolo Banchero faced some early struggles but managed to contribute 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists, making an impressive 6 of 7 free throws.

On the Rockets' side, Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks made their debut for the team, each scoring 14 points. Their addition to the roster was a notable highlight despite the loss. Alperen Sengun also showcased his skills with 14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, although the team was hindered by 19 turnovers.

The Magic's dominance was evident from the start, with Franz Wagner hitting three consecutive three-pointers and the team seizing their first double-digit lead. Orlando's defensive pressure caused the Rockets to commit seven turnovers in the first quarter, helping the Magic build an 11-point lead.

The second quarter saw outstanding performances from Gary Harris and Cole Anthony, who combined for 14 points. A late three-pointer from Jalen Suggs further extended the Magic's lead to 54-37 at halftime. The bench players continued to contribute in the second quarter, adding 24 points to the team's total.

Overall, the Orlando Magic's spectacular victory in their season opener sets a promising tone for their 35th anniversary season. The team's depth, versatility, and strong bench performance were on full display, offering fans an exciting glimpse of what's to come.

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