Magic end 4-game skid with 109-103 win over Suns

Ross Houston
March 30, 2017

Team officials say they want to evaluate and teach their young players, but the decision smacks of tanking to enhance the team's draft lottery chances.

Though the Magic made only two 3s in the second quarter, they came within a three-possession stretch and during what was a 12-2 run that put the visitors ahead, 54-42, at the 3:31 mark. Warren, giving Warren an easy layup with 8:03 left in the third quarter.

"He's getting better and better", Watson said of Ulis.

Suns forward Marquese Chriss left the game in the third quarter after a collision that required four stitches above his right eye. This came one game after Knight was called upon to play but he suddenly came down with a mysterious case of "back-spasms" before the game started.

Suns: G Leandro Barbosa did not play due to illness. Warren finished with a team-best eight points in his 12 minutes of play; well on his way to a 13th straight game scoring in double figures since February 15. Whether Knight plays the rest of the season seems uncertain.

That was their second outing since the team's brass made a decision to shut down point guard Eric Bledsoe for the remainder of the season, partially because of left knee soreness and also to take a longer look at rookie Tyler Ulis. Phoenix used nine players Friday. "If they shut me down, they shut me down", said Bledsoe, who started all 66 games in which he played. "At the end of the day, I can control what I can when I'm out there on the floor".

After the Suns missed a jumper on their ensuing possession, Elfrid Payton hurled a long lob to Aaron Gordon, and Gordon completed the play with a spectacular dunk.

Suns guard Ronnie Price, signed for the duration of the season on February 24, was the only backup at point guard to Ulis on Friday.

The 28th overall pick in the draft out of Kentucky, Labissiere played only 52 minutes for the Kings before the All-Star break but has seen his playing opportunities grow since the Cousins trade.

The Orlando Magic (25-45) are done with their West Coast road trip, and will return home for a very winnable game against the 25-43 Philadelphia 76ers.

The Suns open a six-game slate against the Eastern Conference when they face Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson of the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Sunday, March 19.

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