Fournier injured in Magic’s OT win vs. Hawks
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic earned a much-needed victory Wednesday night, but it may have cost them dearly.
Evan Fournier scored a game-high 27 points, but he left early in overtime with a badly sprained right ankle that could sideline him for the next several games.
The Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks, 110-106.
“We obviously need him out there,” Orlando center Nikola Vucevic said. “He’s hurting right now. He’s a big part of what we do. Hopefully, it won’t be too long.”
Fournier, who is averaging 18.3 points per game, hit 12 of 21 shots and scored the first basket in overtime before limping off the court after landing on Vucevic’s foot during the follow-through of his running floater.
“Hopefully, he’s back soon,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. “The X-rays were negative.”
Aaron Gordon had 24 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for Orlando. Vucevic added 22 points and a season-best 16 rebounds, and Jonathon Simmons scored 15 points.
Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 26 points and added seven assists. Taurean Prince scored 19, rookie Tyler Cavanaugh 13 and Marco Belinelli 12.
“I think we’re playing better. We’re getting better,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “They just made a couple more big plays than we did in overtime.”
Six players combined to score 14 points in overtime for the Magic.
Elfrid Payton had a steal and scored on a breakaway dunk with 1:36 remaining for the 102-101 lead Orlando never relinquished.
The Magic (11-15) won despite making only 6 of 28 from 3-point range and having their reserves outscored 40-16 by their Atlanta counterparts.
Atlanta (5-19) was 11 of 27 from long distance.
“There were a lot of mistakes, a lot of things we can improve on,” Vucevic said. “But these are the type of wins you need to get, when you’re not playing particularly well.”
Magic guard D.J. Augustin hit a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score at 96, sending it into overtime when the Hawks failed to get off another shot before time expired.
The Hawks took a 96-93 lead when Schroder and Kent Bazemore each made free throws in the final 30 seconds of regulation.
“A lot of ups and downs tonight,” Schroder said. “A couple of missed layups cost us in a tight game. I take that on me. You can’t control the ball going into the basket, but you can control how you play defense. The last couple possessions, we didn’t do that.”
The Magic went on a 9-0 run midway in the fourth — including a three-point play by Gordon — to tie the score at 86. They took their first second-half lead at 90-88 when Vucevic scored with 4:10 remaining.
The Hawks led 79-74 going into the fourth quarter despite Vucevic and Fournier each scoring 10 points in the third for the Magic.
The Hawks trailed by eight after the first quarter but led 52-44 at halftime, holding the Magic to 13 points and forcing seven turnovers in the second quarter.
Schroder had 10 points and four assists in the first half. Gordon had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Magic, who made only 1 of 9 3-point attempts in the first two quarters.
NOTES: Hawks C Miles Plumlee, who started his third consecutive game, had a marijuana possession charge against him in New York dismissed earlier this week. The charge stemmed from an August incident. Plumlee is starting because C Dewayne Dedmon missed his fourth consecutive game with a left tibia stress reaction. ... The Magic still were without G/F Terrence Ross (right knee injury) and rookie F Jonathan Isaac (sprained right ankle), who hasn’t played since Nov. 11. ... The Hawks came in with their worst 23-game record since the 2004-05 season. ... The two teams play again Saturday in Atlanta, but not before the Magic are home Friday against the Denver Nuggets.