Banchero’s 36 Points Lead Magic To 118-110 Victory Over Knicks

Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks, NBA News
Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Paolo Banchero showcased his scoring prowess with a remarkable 36-point performance, while Franz Wagner contributed 21 points as the Orlando Magic dominated the injury-plagued New York Knicks, securing a convincing 118-100 victory on Wednesday night. The game marked the final matchup for both teams before the NBA All-Star break.

Banchero was on fire from beyond the arc, sinking six 3-pointers, while the Magic as a team shot an impressive 63% from the field against a Knicks squad that could only field nine players due to injuries.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau acknowledged Banchero’s All-Star caliber play, emphasizing the challenge of defending against a versatile scorer. Thibodeau noted Banchero’s ability to penetrate the paint effectively with his size and strength and a diverse scoring repertoire.

“He’s an All-Star. You’ve got to guard a guy like that with your team,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And he made his 3s. That was a big thing. But he gets into the paint. He’s big, he’s strong, and he has a good mix of shots.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks Updates

Despite a stellar performance from Jalen Brunson, who racked up 33 points and six assists for the Knicks, the team found themselves overmatched, suffering their fourth consecutive defeat after a strong start in the first quarter.

Brunson expressed relief at the upcoming break, citing the Knicks’ injury woes but also expressing satisfaction with their performance thus far in the season.

“This break is obviously good for us. We’re the walking wounded right now,” Brunson said. “But I’m more than happy with what we’ve been able to do in the first two-thirds of the season. So quick reset and be able to go next week.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks Updates

Banchero highlighted the Magic’s determination to continue their upward trajectory after the break, emphasizing their desire to make a final push in the remainder of the season.

“I think it says a lot,” Banchero said. “We started talking this year about how much we wanted to improve, and now we want to come out after the break and make a final push. I don’t think we’re satisfied, but it’s definitely something you can be proud of.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks Updates

The game saw a momentum swing in the second quarter when the Magic, led by Franz and Moritz Wagner, embarked on a 17-0 run, seizing control and maintaining their lead for the matchup. Orlando’s dominance was evident as they shot a remarkable 71% in the first half, ultimately building a substantial lead of 23 points in the fourth quarter.

“I thought our starters did a really good job,” Thibodeau said. “We got into transition some so (Brunson) could attack before the defense got set. And then when he went to the bench, it changed.”

The Knicks, missing key players including All-Star Julius Randle, struggled to contain the Magic’s offensive onslaught. However, Thibodeau remains optimistic about the return of sidelined players post-break.

Looking ahead, the Knicks will face the Philadelphia 76ers on February 22, while the Magic will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on the same date.

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