xml:space="preserve">

Orlando Magic point guard Markelle Fultz thought about D.J. Augustin when he was on the floor clutching his left ring finger during Wednesday night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

On Nov. 17, Augustin sustained a similar injury. Augustin dislocated his left pinky finger in the second quarter against the Washington Wizards. A timeout was called as Augustin lay on the floor in pain.

Advertisement

Fultz said he didn’t want the Magic to burn a timeout while he was in agonizing pain. So he got up after he popped the finger back into place.

“At that moment, I thought about D.J. I was like, ‘Am I gonna sit on the ground make them call a timeout, or am I gonna get up?’” Fultz recalled. “I didn’t want to be like D.J., so I got up and got out of the game and checked, and everything was OK.”

Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac is staying upbeat amid a grueling rehabilitation process following a knee injury.

Fultz officially was diagnosed with a dislocated left ring finger. He said after practice Thursday his finger is sore, but he is good to go when the Magic (21-24) host the Celtics (29-14) at 7 p.m. Friday at Amway Center.

Fultz sustained the injury after colliding in the paint. He stayed in the game before exiting to get X-rays on the fourth metatarsal of his ring finger on his left hand, which came back negative. The Magic guard returned to the game with 8 minutes, 5 seconds left in the second quarter with his finger taped. He finished with 11 points, six assists and five rebounds in 32 minutes.

Orlando coach Steve Clifford said he doesn’t try to presume how severe an injury is during a game. He prefers to wait for confirmation from the medical staff. While Fultz walked away relatively unscathed, Clifford was concerned while Fultz was on the ground.

“Certainly, it was troubling, let’s put it that way,” Clifford said. "… He’s got his finger wrapped up, but he told me that he felt good.”

Fultz doesn’t anticipate the finger being an issue against the Celtics. Since the injury is on his non-shooting hand, his shooting and dribbling ability will not be impacted much.

“I’ve been through worse,” he said. “I’m not really too worried about it as long as I can still use that left hand I’m good.”

The Orlando Magic gave out more than $1 million Wednesday through its youth foundation — money that will help at-risk kids avoid homelessness, eat more healthy food, heal the trauma of domestic violence and explore career paths that can lead them out of poverty.

This is the second time Fultz has dislocated a finger.

The first time occurred when he was younger and in a martial-arts class, and someone stepped on his finger. The difference between Wednesday’s dislocation compared to when he was younger was where the injury occurred.

Against the Thunder, it was on the lower half of his finger, compared to the higher half of his finger when he was in his martial-arts class.

Fultz took martial arts from fourth grade until right before his freshman year in high school. He did it for fun. He stopped when he decided to focus only on basketball, even though he said he was one stripe from obtaining his black belt.

The Orlando Magic lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night at Amway Center despite a third quarter scoring surge from Terrence Ross.

Lately, Fultz has been seeing a lot more about finger dislocations, including when Kobe Bryant played through his share of finger injuries. He thought about how Bryant played through the excruciating pain.

So Fultz got back up.

Advertisement

“Definitely something that I don’t wish it upon anybody,” Fultz said. “It was kind of weird. I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff about people dislocating a finger. I was trying to be a tough guy and get back up. It was all good.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement