The Washington Wizards’ fully healthy roster was in doubt after just 1½ games.
Porzingis, who has missed just five games this season, exited via the tunnel designated for visiting players at Capital One Arena because it was closer to where he fell on the court.
Wizards Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said that Porzingis will be evaluated Sunday but that he “didn’t think it’s too bad — fingers crossed.”
Washington was just fine without him, at least in the moment. It led Orlando from 8:46 in the first quarter on behind a career-high-tying 30-point performance from Rui Hachimura and a big night from Kyle Kuzma, who was red-hot from the three-point line.
“He was terrific,” Unseld said of Hachimura. “Loved his aggression off the bench. Once he sees one or two go in, that kind of gets him going. He stretched the floor, made a three, and I think once that dynamic happens, they get to running him off [and] he gets to his midrange. I like where he was. I thought he was well balanced in his attacks.”
The Magic (17-29) and Wizards (20-26) have similar records, but Orlando’s roster doesn’t match Washington’s talent pound for pound. The Wizards leaped to a 14-point lead in the first quarter, did the bulk of the night’s work in the first half and cruised in the second.
They went to the locker room with a 70-57 lead thanks to a zippy offense that hit 10 three-pointers, including four by Kuzma. Beal had a slow start in his second game back, but the Wizards’ active bench — and Magic No. 2 scorer Franz Wagner picking up his third foul late in the first quarter — stymied Orlando’s hopes of narrowing the gap.
Hachimura was aggressive off the bench and added five rebounds. Kuzma had 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Beal had 17 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Delon Wright had 15 points and eight assists off the bench. Porzingis had 17 points in 23 minutes and went 10 for 10 from the free throw line.
Former DeMatha star Markelle Fultz led Orlando with 23 points and eight assists.
Here’s what else to know about the Wizards’ win:
Gafford exits, returns
Center Daniel Gafford looked rattled after fouling Paolo Banchero on a dunk attempt with 7:13 left in the third quarter. He walked to the locker room after clutching what appeared to be his hand area but returned in time to start the fourth quarter. He finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Guard Jordan Goodwin was assigned to the Capital City Go-Go of the G League, which means Saturday’s game does not count toward the 50 regular season games he’s allowed to play on a two-way contract. The Wizards would like to convert his contract to a standard deal but have to wait until there is space on the roster to do so.
As for the team’s other two-way contract player — each team is allowed two — Washington released guard Devon Dotson this past week, just days before Friday’s deadline, when all two-way contracts became guaranteed for the rest of the season. The team brought in Dotson, a 6-foot-1 guard, in the wake of Wright’s hamstring strain in October.
Unseld said before the game that he wasn’t sure whether the Wizards will fill the open two-way contract spot imminently but added, “We’re always looking to see who can bolster that roster spot.”