On paper, this seems to be a lock for the Boston Celtics to win against a team, down in the standings such as the Orlando Magic. The Celtics are the number one team in the NBA and enjoying a nine-game winning streak.
But that’s the beauty of the game most especially at the highest level, anyone can beat anybody at any given day.
The 22-year old rookie Paolo Banchero led the Magic over the sizzling hot Celtics, 113-98 in Orlando, Tuesday morning (Manila time).
The number one pick in the 2022 draft was dazzling all game long slicing through the Celtics defense like butter. Making shots all over the court and maintaining composure that belies his rookie status, Banchero ended up going 7 for 13 on the field, scoring 23 points.
White hot Magic
The Magic were hot out of the gates, racing to a 5-0 lead and 11-3 in the first five minutes with Banchero wasting no time to make an impact. After Jaylen Brown tied it with a three-pointer with two and a half minutes left in the quarter, the Magic went on to outscore the Celtics 9-2 and lead by seven to end it, 30-23.
It was more of a back and forth in the second with Celtics dynamic duo Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown keeping the Celtics close, trailing only by one even after Banchero made the last shot before halftime, 54-55.
P5 making hay
After Brown made a three-pointer to give the Celtics their biggest lead of the game at five points, rookie-of-the-year candidate Banchero once again stemmed the tide and forced momentum back to the Magic.
This carried the Magic to end the quarter and outscore the Celtics 33-25 in the third. They wound up limiting the Celtics to 19 points in the fourth quarter to close out the game and ultimately end Boston’s winning run.
Helping Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr. had a big game for the Magic with 21 points and 11 rebounds while German star Franz Wagner had 15 points 7 rebounds and 6 assists for the winning effort.
Both Celtics stars Jason Tatum and Jalen Brown scored 26 points a piece.
Boston will try to get back to their winning ways in Miami while Orlando will welcome the Indiana Pacers next.