January 7 – The Lakeland Magic, NBA G League affiliate of the Orlando Magic, fell to the College Park Skyhawks 111-100 in the regular-season opener at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.
Following the conclusion of the Winter Showcase Cup games in December, all NBA G League teams’ records reset and started at 0-0. The Lakeland Magic opened the new portion of the season at home against the College Park Skyhawks. Cat Barber and Malik Ellison combined for 14 points in the first quarter to give the Skyhawks a nine-point lead at the end of the period. BJ Johnson and Hassani Gravett, both in their first games back in the G League after call-ups from the Orlando Magic, each dropped 10 points in the second quarter to cut the Lakeland deficit to five going into halftime.
A late third quarter run by the Magic, and twelve more points from Johnson, helped Lakeland surge ahead as they outscored College Park 30-21 in the period. The Magic held the lead for a stretch in the fourth, but it was Barber’s 21-point quarter that propelled the Skyhawks to victory.
Johnson finished with a team-high 30 points and 10 rebounds. Gravett posted 21 points, six rebounds and four assists. Aleem Ford, also returning from his recent stint with the Orlando Magic, added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Barber scored 32 points and eight assists for College Park. Ellison finished with 22 points and five rebounds. Justin Tillman contributed 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Lakeland and College Park play the second game of their back-to-back tomorrow night at 7 PM EST at the RP Funding Center. Fans can tune in at LakelandMagic.com.