Paolo Banchero led a second-half fightback as the Orlando Magic overturned a 21-point deficit to upset the Philadelphia 76ers 119-109 on Monday.
Banchero, the number one pick in last year’s draft, scored 29 points from 11-of-22 shooting, with nine rebounds and three assists to give Orlando another notable win after last week’s defeat of league-leading Boston.
In other games across the NBA on Monday, Luka Doncic returned from injury with a 53-point bang as the Dallas Mavericks routed the Detroit Pistons 111-105, while Stephen Curry dropped 38 points for Golden State as the Warriors downed the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-120.
In Portland, Damian Lillard’s 42 points led the Trail Blazers to a 129-125 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Dejounte Murray finished with 40 points for Atlanta.
In Philadelphia, Magic rookie Banchero was backed with scoring support from German brothers Franz Wagner and Moritz Wagner, who combined for 41 points as Orlando silenced the home crowd with a second-half scoring blitz.
Philadelphia, who dropped to third in the Eastern Conference standings after the loss, led by 21 points midway through the second quarter and appeared poised for a comfortable victory.
But Orlando erupted after the break with a 42-point third quarter to edge into the lead and then closed with a 19-8 run in the fourth to seal the victory.
Moritz Wagner finished with 22 points off the bench while younger brother Franz added 19.
Markelle Fultz had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists while Wendell Carter Jr. also cracked double-figures with 12 points.
Joel Embiid led the Sixers scoring with 30 points while James Harden and Tobias Harris had 17 points apiece.
“I’m so proud of these young men,” Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said of his team afterwards.
“The way that first half started — we were hanging our heads a little bit. But we pulled ourselves together at half-time and talked about our belief system and what we’re capable of doing, and we showed up.
“It shows growth and that they’re learning from their experiences –- they find a way to bounce back, find a way to believe in each other.”
‘He fired us up’
Banchero said Mosley had rallied the locker room at half-time.
“He fired us up,” Banchero said. “Just told us we need to play better, play harder, that we’re a very good team we need to act like it.”
Sixers coach Doc Rivers had few complaints after his side’s defeat, describing Orlando as worthy winners.
“I thought from near the end of the first quarter, they played harder, faster, tougher, more physical,” Rivers said. “I think they deserved to win.”
Orlando continue to languish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, with 20 wins against 31 defeats.
In Dallas, Doncic bagged the fifth 50-point game of his career with another virtuoso performance to lead the Mavericks to victory over Detroit.
Doncic’s tally included 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks rallied to victory after trailing by 11 points in the third quarter.
In Oklahoma City, Golden State held off a furious late rally from the Thunder to close out a wire-to-wire win.
Curry’s 38-point performance included eight-of-14 from beyond the arc, while Klay Thompson drained six three-pointers in his 28-point performance.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder scoring with 31 points.
“I was really happy with the way the guys responded down the stretch,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We closed the game really well. It was a good night overall.”
The Warriors had led by 18 points after the first quarter, a lead which proved insurmountable for Oklahoma City.
“That first quarter set the tone for the game,” Kerr said. “They were swimming upstream for the remaining three quarters.”
Elsewhere on Monday, a depleted Los Angeles Lakers slid to defeat on the road against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Lakers, missing LeBron James and Anthony Davis from their lineup, fell 121-104.
Kyrie Irving led Brooklyn’s scoring with 26 points as the Nets recovered after falling behind in the third quarter to outscore Los Angeles 36-22 in the fourth quarter.
World Cup News
/ 18 hours ago
Three German ex-top football officials went on trial on Monday in a 13.7-million-euro ($14.8...
/ 3 days ago
Saudi Arabia formally launched its bid to host the 2034 World Cup on Friday,...