ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Sixers squandered another opportunity for a last-second win in Orlando, instead starting a five-game road trip with a disheartening and physically draining 112-109 overtime loss to the Magic on Monday.
Terrence Ross knocked down a fallaway jumper with 34.7 seconds to go in overtime, then followed with a pair of free throws 17 seconds later to give Orlando a four-point cushion that the Sixers couldn't overcome.
The Sixers got a three-pointer from Nik Stauskas with 11.9 seconds to play to cut the deficit to 108-107, but Evan Fournier and Jodie Meeks finished it for the Magic with 4 of 4 shooting from the free throw line in the final seconds.
The Sixers (26-44) led by as many as 17 points in the second half before getting careless with the ball and decision-making to let Orlando climb back in the game. The Magic (26-45) caught the Sixers when Dario Saric fouled out with 3:52 left in the game and Aaron Gordon made two free throws to tie the game at 92.
The Sixers had a chance to win the game in regulation after T.J. McConnell forced a Magic turnover with 5.7 seconds left. Brett Brown burned a timeout to set up a game-winning attempt but the play never developed and Justin Anderson's drive was easily snuffed by Elfrid Payton as time expired.
The Sixers took control of the game early in the second quarter, outscoring Orlando 20-6 over an eight-minute span and finished with a pair of free throws that gave them a 50-35 lead.
Inside the box score
• Richaun Holmes, who averages 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, doubled both in the first half when he had 17 points and nine boards. He tied a career high with 24 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds
• Saric had 18 points, but played only 26 minutes before fouling out with just under four minutes left in regulation.
• The four Sixers reserves who played a total of 18 minutes in the first period contributed just two points and one rebound between them. Stauskas rescued the reserves, contributing 17 points to lead bench scorers.
The Sixers thought they would have only eight players to start the game, but Anderson, who missed the last game with gastroenteritis, caught a flight from Philadelphia Monday and played. Anderson played 27 minutes and scored one point with seven rebounds.
A sore knee forced Jahlil Okafor to miss his 21st game this season. It's the same knee Okafor had surgery on and has bothered him before, but Brown said the team hasn't even considered sitting him out the last month of the season.
"We're not going to overdramatize something that doesn't need to be overdramatized," Brown said. "You can manufacture a story to make it be serious, but you see him move and it's not as dramatic as it seems. We anticipate him playing soon and chances are when he gets on the floor, he'll be really good."
Gerald Henderson was also held out Monday to rest rather than play in back-to-back games.
The Sixers continue a five-game road trip with a visit to Oklahoma City for an 8 p.m. contest against the Thunder. The Sixers lost to OKC, 103-97, on opening night in Philadelphia.