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‘Franz can hoop’: Wagner sends Magic to win with clutch 3-pointer

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  • Orlando Magic
    Orlando Magic
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  • Moritz Wagner
    Moritz Wagner
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Franz Wagner hit just one 3-pointer but it proved to be just the shot the Orlando Magic needed to snap a seven-game losing streak on Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets.

Wagner finished with 15 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:45 left to give the Magic their first lead of the contest. The Magic wouldn’t trail again as their defense held on to secure the 108-103 victory at Amway Center.

“I came off of a pick and roll, probably should have passed it earlier and then they kinda messed up their switch,” Wagner said. “I was open and shot (it). It, obviously, felt really good. It was a close game. We needed a win really bad.

“The crowd was into it and was really happy so it was a lot of fun.”

Cole Anthony returned from a six-game absence to score a game-high 24 points, including 16 in the second half, to lead the Magic back from a 16-point deficit. Wendell Carter Jr. added 18 points and eight rebounds while Mo Wagner had 12 points.

The performance by Franz Wagner highlighted yet another strong effort by the rookie. He has consistently stepped up all season long on both ends of the floor and did so once again in the closing minutes when Orlando needed it the most.

Anthony was among those impressed by Wagner on Wednesday.

Franz can hoop! I’ve said it a couple of times. That kid has a chance to be a heck of a player. He really does. I’m a huge fan of his game. I have full trust in him. I see him work and I see how much he cares about it so it is really awesome to see out there watching him be able to hit big shots like that.

Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley has often praised Wagner for his basketball IQ and competitive edge, and believed that is what helped him take the shot with such confidence. He is credited for playing well beyond his years as the moment wasn’t too big for him.

Orlando showed resiliency pulling out the win as it hopes to carry that into a five-game West Coast road trip starting on Friday in Houston. The upcoming trek projects to be a difficult one, but the group will certainly enjoy the win as it looks to carry that momentum on.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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