The Philadelphia 76ers (32-17) looked to extend their win streak to eight in a matchup with the Orlando Magic (20-31). The Sixers cruised to start off but let the Magic get back into it and ultimately lost by a score of 119-109 in Markelle Fultz's first game as an opponent in Wells Fargo Center.

Let's break down the Sixers' loss to the Magic.

Sixers player notes:

Joel Embiid: 30 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 11-21 FG shooting

Embiid, who is still dealing with foot soreness that made him questionable to play, brought some real intensity on defense to open the game, making plays left and right. No one from Orlando was a match for him as he got to his spots and scored with ease. He also cleaned up the glass well and threw some nice dimes. The second half was a different story, though.

After a brutal third quarter in which he could hardly score thanks to Orlando double-teams, he was unable to get enough going in the fourth to save the Sixers from a bad collapse.

Tobias Harris: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 7-14 FG shooting 

Just as he did against his former squad earlier in the year as the go-to guy with the Sixers stars injured, Harris came out looking to score. He used his size to get right to the hoop and finished through a foul on multiple occasions. That aggression subsided as the game went on, though.

James Harden: 17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 5-14 FG shooting 

Harden wasn't too great in this one. The Sixers needed more from their floor general in just about every department. Orlando had plenty of defenders who were able to stymie him as he looked to score.

Tyrese Maxey: 8 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 4-9 FG shooting 

Like Harden's performance, this was a game to forget for Maxey. Although he provided a good second-half scoring spark, it was not nearly enough to make him a reliably impactful force for the Sixers.

Magic player notes:

Paolo Banchero: 29 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 11-22 FG shooting 

The Rookie of the Year favorite couldn't get much going and floundered against physical defense often to start the game. He found his groove thanks to some easy transition buckets and led the Magic in scoring at halftime with 13 points on 5-10 shooting. From then on, he was tough to stop. His scoring was the driving force for Orlando, along with a particular guard's defense.

Markelle Fultz: 12 points, 2 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals, 4-14 FG shooting 

In his first game in Philly since being traded to the Magic almost four years ago, Fultz came to play — unlike most of the rest of his team. He was the only Orlando player to score for the first seven minutes before setting up Gary Harris on a triple but then went ice cold for the rest of the game, at one point missing seven consecutive shots. On defense, he looked to be disruptive and was able to force quite a few turnovers.

Franz Wagner: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 7-16 FG shooting

Wagner took a little while to truly get going but showed some impressive drives to the hoop. While he didn't light up the box score in the assist column, he showcased some flashes of great passing. His brother, Moe, outscored him (22 points) but his ability to defend and break down the defense made him super pivotal to the Magic's victory.

Game notes:

1st half:

  • The Sixers held the Magic scoreless for the first three minutes of the game until Fultz hit a pull-up jimbo (no hesi, though). Philly wasn't super crisp offensively but drew some shooting fouls to go up by 10 in just over four minutes. Embiid dominated on both ends as he and Harris scored at will to nearly go up by 20.
  • The Orlando bench came with some fight as Jalen Suggs and Bol Bol gave the Magic some aggression on defense — including when Suggs whacked Embiid on the head but wasn't called for a foul, somehow — but not enough to truly slow down the Sixers bench, who surprisingly got scoring from everyone except for Maxey.
  • While Maxey went 0-3 from the field in his first shift, Shake Milton was hooping. He got things working on offense along with Georges Niang, who made the right passes and had three assists early on. Matisse Thybulle had seven points (and a pair of steals).
  • Embiid checked back in and got Wendell Carter Jr. in foul trouble while continuing to pad Philly's lead. Fultz wasn't going down without a fight, though. He got his teammates good looks at scoring and they converted on three straight possessions, one of which came off of a steal from Fultz. The Magic went on a 20-10 run to make things more interesting.
  • The Sixers led by as much as 21 but went into halftime with a 62-52 lead.

2nd half:

  • The Sixers scored on their first three second-half possessions and picked apart the Orlando defense using Embiid and his gravity. De'Anthony Melton provided some nice hustle plays, too. But Banchero had shaken off his early struggles and was able to find his way to the hoop on and-one scores. He continued to push the pace a chip away at Orlando's deficit.
  • The Magic had a lot of success forcing turnovers and turning them into easy transition buckets. They played the passing lanes well, rotated with haste off the ball and did what they could to keep non-Embiid Philly players from going through them.
  • Maxey turned around his rough first half but all it was good for was delaying the Magic from taking the lead until later in the third quarter. After leading 30-17 after the first quarter, the Magic won the following two quarters by scores of 35-32 and 42-28.
  • The Sixers quickly knotted things up to start the fourth quarter and held things down until Embiid checked back in. However, he made matters more strenuous with two quick fouls, bringing his total to four. Although one call was questionable, one was done out of clear frustration following a turnover. He picked his fifth on an and-one from Moe Wagner.
  • The Sixers allowed numerous offensive rebounds down the stretch and their offense went cold. The Magic defense came eerily close to landing under shooters on numerous occasions but the referees allowed the aggressive defense and Philly couldn't get anything to work for a long time in the fourth quarter, scoring only 19 points in the period.

Random thoughts:

  • I guess it shouldn't come as a huge surprise because of all the injuries he has suffered over the years but it's still wild to me that this is Fultz's first game in Philly since joining Orlando. The only two guys still on the roster that he played with are Embiid and Furkan Korkmaz.
  • Wendell Carter Jr. ditched his white rec specs after a few minutes. I liked the look but clearly, he wasn't feeling it.

The Sixers will play the Magic in their next game on Wednesday before embarking on a brief road trip.