Tuesday, November 30 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. — When the game is on the line, Orlando Magic rookie Jalen Suggs wants the ball in his hands, and that is exactly what happened on Sunday with a chance to win.

Unfortunately, the play didn’t quite unfold as Suggs wanted it to.

With 22 seconds to go, Suggs brought the ball up the court and let some time tick off the clock. He drove to his right, directly into a defender and lost control of the ball. The clock expired as Suggs was in a fight for the ball, resulting in a 101-100 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Despite coming up short in that sequence, Suggs showed that he was not afraid of the moment. He looked confident with the ball in his hands and did not back down from the challenge.

The play, as Suggs said, gave him a great learning experience to build on.

I feel extremely comfortable and I want it in my hands. It has happened to some of the best players in the world in that same position. For me, it’s all about learning. You can’t really learn and get a feel for it until you’re put in a position like that. I’ve been there before but it’s different on this level. We had a guy on the single side with a shooter in the corner. I just need to understand next time to attack that side instead of the middle way where the defense is already set up.

Suggs finished with four points, four assists, one rebound, one steal and one blocked shot in 24 minutes of work. He helped spark an 18-point fourth-quarter comeback as the Magic tied the game up with just over two minutes to play.

Orlando was unable to pull ahead after that point of the contest.

The team was given high praise by head coach Jamahl Mosley for its effort down the stretch. They seemingly never gave up, and continued to play with high energy even after trailing by 18 points.

“I have to say, I loved our resilience,” Mosley said. “There was a point we were down 18 and we battled back and didn’t give in to being down and the fact that shots weren’t falling. We turned our defense up, got after them a little bit more, turned the pressure up. Those are my initial thoughts, us being resilient enough to be able to battle back and not hang our heads when we were down.”

Suggs entering the draft was highly touted for his leadership and ability in crunch time as he will have plenty of opportunities to show that with the Magic this season and beyond. He certainly looks to be ready to shine in those moments.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!


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