Magic notch eighth win in row

Agence France-Presse

Sixers fall with Embiid  ill

WASHINGTON  – German forward Franz Wagner’s 31-point performance sparked Orlando to an eighth consecutive victory on Wednesday, ripping Washington 139-120 to move one game behind NBA overall leader Boston.

The Magic connected on 60.7 percent of their shots in improving to 13-5 and matching Milwaukee for second in the Eastern Conference behind the Celtics (14-4).

“We believe we can win every day and we want to play up to our standards,” Wagner said after achieving back-to-back 30-point games for the first time in his NBA career.

“It’s a lot of fun. We would like to keep that going.”

Orlando can match the club’s record win streak by beating the Wizards again on Friday.

“It would be awesome,” Wagner said. “But we’ve still got one to go so we’ve got to lock in on that.”

Magic coach Jamahl Mosley agreed, saying: “I’m a ‘one game at a time’ guy. We’ll enjoy this one but we’ve got to get to work tomorrow.”

Cole Anthony came off the bench to add 25 points and Jalen Suggs scored a season-high 22 points for Orlando.

But forward Paolo Banchero, last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year, suffered an ankle sprain and had only six points.

“We’ve got a young team,” Wagner said. “We’re just a tight-knit group. We’ve got a lot of characters and we just enjoy playing with each other.”

The Philadelphia 76ers also could have reached 13-5 but with NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid out with illness, the Sixers lost 124-114 at New Orleans.

Cameroonian seven-footer Embiid, the NBA’s top scorer with 32.0 points a game, was dearly missed as Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson struck for 33 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. He shot 11-of-12 from the floor and the free throw line.

Pelicans guard C.J. McCollum scored 20 points in his return after missing more than three weeks with a collapsed lung and fractured rib.

Tyrese Maxey scored 33 points for the 76ers in a losing cause.

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