The Orlando Magic know how to put an exclamation point on a winning streak.
In the fourth of a runaway win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, Magic guards Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony combined for a wild alley-oop off a steal, making a deliberate reference in the process. It just took a couple watches, and a different angle, to grasp what they did.
As Anthony threw down the slam over Wizards guard Landry Shamet, Suggs held his hands out while running under the basket, a la Dwyane Wade in his iconic photo with LeBron James during their Miami Heat years.
The better angle:
That James-Wade photo was taken in Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 2010 by Associated Press photographer Morry Gash, and has became one of the NBA’s most iconic images this century. A side-by-side comparison:
It is a grandiose pose to take, but the Magic are looking pretty grand right now. After four straight years of below .500 ball and zero playoff series wins since 2010, the Magic are 13-5 and winners of eight straight.
Anthony and Suggs have been a significant part of that success so far. On Wednesday, a 139-120 Magic win, Suggs had 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting with three rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Anthony came off the bench for 26 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The Magic have continued to look better throughout the streak as well, winning by double digits in five of their last six games. Not many expected them to be a contender in the East, but they now sit second in the conference between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.