Just like the first time these teams met, the Wizards and Magic went down to the wire. The result remains the same as they won 108-99, beating Orlando for the 10th time in a row, but instead of John Wall and Bradley Beal it was Kris Humphries and Garrett Temple who had career nights as the Wizards snapped a three-game losing streak.
Temple made his first start of the season for Bradley Beal, who missed his second game in a row with a left shoulder contusion. He had 18 points to tie his personal mark set last season when he started for Beal who had a wrist injury then.
Humphries, who had made just two career three-pointers from 2004-14, had a career-high five on eight attempts for a team-high 23 points.
The Wizards (4-4) edged the Magic 88-87 in the season opener for both teams with Wall and Beal dominating in the fourth. In this one, they spread the wealth.
Orlando (5-6) was on a two-game winning streak and were playing their second game of a back-to-back. Victor Oladipo was out because of a concussion and Nik Vucevic had 10 points in the first quarter but only nine in the next three.
The Wizards fell behind 15-5 and were sluggish as the Magic shot 60% in the first quarter. But they took a 31-27 lead entering the second.
They trailed 90-86 at the six-minute mark when Marcin Gortat blew a layup but outscored Orlando 23-9 to end the game.
Wall had 15 points and 11 assists, Gortat 13 points and 10 rebounds and Otto Porter nine points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Nene had nine points, six rebounds, three assists and one block in 20 minutes. Gary Neal had seven points and Ramon Sessions five points, five assists and four rebounds.
- After being criticized by coach Randy Wittman for playing soft in a 24-point loss to Oklahoma City when he grabbed just one defensive rebound, Gortat looked uneasy and jittery as made just 1 of 4 shots to begin the game. His first shot was a putback off a miss by Humphries but that was off. Then it was an errant left-hand hook. Vucevic came back at him on the other end, backed down Gortat and scored with a right-hand jump hook. Gortat botched a layup on a nice feed from Wall late in the fourth but his strong finish made up for everything. The next down the court he converted a three-point play, was caught on a switch with Elfrid Payton and blocked his shot, ran back in transition and tipped in a missed layup from Temple for a 94-90 lead. Gortat couldn't grab the rebound off Porter's missed three-pointer but tapped it out for a second chance and Wall buried the jumper for a 101-94 lead.
- The Wizards were better with Nene, who comes off the bench, vs. Vucevic than Gortat. Nene gets physical with him in ways that can cause him to misfire and is a tougher cover because of his passing ability (see the layups for Neal and Sessions of his reads in the first quarter). While Nene isn't a shot-blocker, he doesn't have to be. He's an excellent position defender and when it comes to making reads with the ball. When Gortat was back on him, Temple's double-teams disrupted Vucevic's rhythm.
- Payton lost his dribble and Wall had the loose ball in front of him. Payton, however, dove to the floor, to come up with it and somehow it got into the hands of Aaron Gordon who got to the rim for the layup and a foul on Porter. He completed the three-point play by making the foul shot but it typifies how bad this team remains when it comes to 50-50 balls.
- Temple started in place of Beal instead of Neal, who did so in the previous game vs. Oklahoma City. Temple made two three-point shots in the first half and was the Wizards’ leading scorer with nine points. But he was put in this spot because of his defense and having to match up with Evan Fournier, who has given the Wizards problems in the past. Temple’s strip of Tobias Harris late in the second quarter led to a layup for Nene that trimmed the deficit to 52-50. This is who Temple is -- a glue player that every team needs in a pinch.
- Rookie Kelly Oubre played four minutes in the first half while Drew Gooden remained on the bench. Oubre was active in the paint. He went coast-to-coast with his one rebound, got into the paint, double-clutched and scored for a bucket. He started the fourth quarter, too, of a close game which is significant. That means Wittman is beginning to trust him more. Oubre had four points on 2 of 3 shooting in 10 minutes.