Magic can’t abandon ‘by committee’ approach

Cole Anthony soared through the sky to grab an offensive rebound and tipped the ball in the basket off a missed 3-pointer from Franz Wagner to give the Magic a 5-point lead over the Cavs with less two minutes remaining in Friday’s Game 6 at Kia Center.

Markelle Fultz drove past Cleveland‘s Donovan Mitchell and finished in the paint with a tough reverse layup to score around Evan Mobley late in the third quarter to help snap a 17-2 run by the Cavs.

Moe Wagner crashed the boards early in the fourth frame, reached up past Mobley and Georges Naing and grabbed a key offensive rebound that led to an Anthony layup that put Orlando ahead by 1 point after it trailed by 5 entering the final quarter.

Although it was Paolo Banchero (27 points), Franz Wagner (26) and Jalen Suggs (22) who combined for 75 of the Magic’s points in the 103-96 victory over the Cavs, individual plays from reserves such as Anthony, Fultz and the older Wagner brother will be just as important as Orlando’s stars showing up in Game 7 on Sunday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse if Jamahl Mosley’s squad wants to advance out of the first round.

It’s how Orlando has handled things all season long — “by committee,” Mosley often says about what’s led to his team’s success this year.

“What makes it so special is [that] not only all of us love the game, love each other [and] love the work but everybody else around us loves it the exact same way,” Suggs said. “It’s not just us three.

“When you’ve got to face a team where everybody who comes in off that bench is a threat, is a problem, can bring something to the game that just makes you uncomfortable, that’s dangerous,” he added. “Then when you add the swag that we’re continuing to build, that we’re continuing to get through wins, through playing together, through our comradery, that’s when you start to see special things brew and special moments happen.”

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For additional special moments to take place beyond Sunday, the Magic will likely need more of the same from their bench unit that outscored Cleveland’s 17-10 on Friday.

Their impact was felt in more than one way to help Orlando tie up its first-round series 3-3 vs. Cleveland.

Moe Wagner grabbed a team-high 5 offensive rebounds that helped lead to Orlando’s 15 second-chance points.

Fultz was one of three Magic players with at least 4 assists and recorded the team’s highest plus-minus rating in 23 minutes (plus-13).

Anthony notched 6 of his 9 total points during 11 fourth-quarter minutes.

“It speaks to everyone’s character,” Franz Wagner said about the Magic’s bench stepping up. “It’s a credit to those guys to stay locked in.

“I thought Cole won us the game,” he added. “He played huge minutes off the bench, making plays on both sides and that’s what it takes to be successful in the playoffs.”

Jason Beede can be reached at