WASHINGTON (AP) — Orlando forward Jonathan Isaac collided with the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal in the early minutes of Wednesday’s game. Isaac left the floor on a stretcher, and was quickly ruled out of the game with a hyperextended left knee.
Yet, even with one of their key players out, the Magic, who entered with the NBA’s worst offence, overcame Isaac’s absence and rolled to a 122-101 win over the Wizards.
DJ Augustin scored a season-high 25 points and Nicola Vucevic added 20 points and 12 rebounds as Orlando snapped a four-game road losing streak.
After the game, Isaac felt he’d avoided a serious injury.
He will have an MRI on the knee and be re-evaluated.
“I’ve never hurt my knee before,” Isaac said. “So as soon as it happened, I just naturally start thinking the worst. ‘Wow man, it’s over’. But as I was down there, it started to feel better and better just being down there. So I kind of felt, just the reassurance that I was going to be (okay).”
The Magic took the lead midway through the second quarter and led 62-58 at halftime. Orlando steadily increased its lead in the second half.
“I thought we played a good first half, and that second half was about as well as we’ve played,” coach Steve Clifford said. “Good offence, good defence, and DJ was phenomenal.”
Evan Fournier had 18 points for Orlando. Markelle Fultz scored 16 and Terrence Ross 15.
Clifford was relieved after watching the collision, which occurred near the Magic bench.
It’s scary because, to be honest, I think we got lucky,” Clifford said. “I was right there, and the way it twisted, I thought I heard a pop and usually that’s bad.”
Beal, who returned from a two-game absence due to soreness in his right leg, had 27 points to lead Washington.
The Magic have beaten the Wizards in each of their three meetings this season.
“We were a step slow,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said. “We didn’t fly around and create energy and offence with our activity tonight. We seemed to be a step behind on every play.”