ORLANDO, Florida — Franz Wagner scored 31 points, Paolo Banchero had 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists as the Orlando Magic beat the Washington Wizards 130-125 to tie a franchise record with their ninth straight victory.
It was the third straight 30-point game for Franz Wagner, whose brother Moritz Wagner added 18 points to help Orlando defeat Washington.
The Magic has had four nine-game winning streaks, previously in 1994, 2001 and 2010-11. They are one of only two NBA franchises without a double-digit win streak on their record. The Indiana Pacers´ longest win streak is also nine games.
“It’s not easy to stack up wins in this league,” noted Wagner.
“It´s pretty special,” Banchero said according to AP. “Eventually I think a loss is going to come but we just want to keep it rolling for as long as we can. But you´re not surprised when you do something like this because we´ve got great chemistry and we play really well together.”
Kyle Kuzma scored 27 points and Daniel Gafford had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost 11 of 12.
Kuzma, who fouled out in the final minute, left the two-game set a big believer.
“Look at Franz and look at Paolo,” he said. “They can manipulate the game because they are so big, so strong, and just (play) downhill. They are a problem.”
Elsewhere, Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 16 assists as the Denver Nuggets held off the Phoenix Suns 119-111 for a hard-fought victory.
“That´s another night of just incredible, unselfish basketball,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Everyone playing for the man next to them, making the right play.”
Down 17 in the first half, the Suns – on a night Kevin Durant moved into 10th place on the NBA’s career scoring list – cut Denver’s lead to 94-91 entering the fourth.
Phoenix tied it three times early in the fourth and the game stayed within one possession for much of the period, but Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. were among multiple players who made clutch buckets to keep the Nuggets ahead.
Meanwhile, Jonas Valanciunas had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Trey Murphy hit four second-half 3s to finish with 18 points as the Pelicans stunned San Antonio 121-106 to send the Spurs to their 14th straight loss.
“It´s a blessing to have the guys available that can come in a produce right away,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said according to AP, adding that “getting Trey back was huge,” and that the Spurs “didn´t have an answer” for Valanciunas in the paint.
“I was just physical, going for offensive boards, crashing, doing my stuff as I usually do,” Valanciunas said after his eighth double-double this season.
The 7-foot-3 Wembanyama was held out because of right hip tightness. San Antonio’s losing streak is now its second-longest. The Spurs lost 16 in a row last season, when they finished 22-60 and won the NBA draft lottery.
CJ McCollum scored 19 points and Herb Jones added 17 points and three steals for New Orleans, which won its second straight.
Murphy missed New Orleans’ first 19 games while rehabilitating from arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee.
His first basket of the season was an end-to-end layup in transition. The 2023 All-Star Dunk contest runner-up later highlighted his return with a driving, soaring, tomahawk jam.
“Just seeing an open lane, I just had to get up there and show people I still got my athleticism,” said Murphy, who also went 4 of 10 from 3-point range.
Jayson Tatum insists he didn’t lose swear or lose his temper. He still wound up watching the end of the game from Boston’s locker room.
Tatum scored 21 points before he was ejected for arguing a foul call near the end of the third quarter, and the Celtics went on without him to defeat the depleted Philadelphia 76ers 125-119.