Magic continue playoff push against anemic Pistons

The Orlando Magic are not only threatening to make the postseason for the first time in four seasons, they may not even require the play-in tournament to reach that goal.The Magic have won seven of their last nine games, including a 116-109 road victory over Cleveland on Thursday in their return from the All-Star break.Orlando’s 31-25 record puts it in the mix for a top-six finish in the conference.The Magic are on pace to finish with more regular-season victories than they’ve had since 2010-11, when they finished with a 52-30 record.Orlando gets a chance to fatten its win total against the league’s worst team on Saturday night. They’ll visit Detroit to play the Pistons, who have won just eight games.The Magic’s latest victory was a product of strong bench performances. The five reserves they used against the Cavaliers combined for 63 points, led by Moritz Wagner’s 22 points and seven rebounds.”The real teams start playing now,” Wagner said. “I think as a young team that hasn’t really been there yet, we need to embrace that and understand that. The teams that want to go somewhere, this is the time they improve the most. It’s a mentality that we have to bring every day.”Orlando needed the bench to come to the rescue on a night when its two stars struggled from the field. All-Star Paolo Banchero scored 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting and committed four turnovers.Wagner’s brother, Franz, had 14 points, seven below his average, and made three turnovers.”Our bench unit was fantastic,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “They came out ready to compete defensively early on, and there is a high level of trust they have with each other.”

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