Banchero’s Triple-Double Powers Magic to 121-106 Win vs. Pelicans

Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, NBA News, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Paolo Banchero‘s exceptional performance led the Orlando Magic to a 121-106 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans during Thursday’s NBA action. Achieving his second career triple-double, Banchero recorded 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, showcasing his versatility and helping the Magic secure a win.

“Just trying to let the game come to me,” Banchero said. “I tried to communicate with my passing. I just wanted to keep finding guys.”

This victory marks a significant milestone for the Magic, who achieved their second winning season in the last 12 years and demonstrated formidable form by winning 18 of their last 23 games. Despite initial struggles, where Banchero missed his first 10 shots, his resilience and adaptability were pivotal to his and the team’s success.

“Teams are loading up on him, defending him different ways. He’s making the right plays, the right pass, not forcing the game,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley commended Banchero’s performance. “He reads what the defense is doing, he adjusts as the game is going on and then finds his time to attack. That’s what an All-Star does.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

The game also saw significant contributions from Jalen Suggs, who led the team with 22 points, and Franz Wagner, who added 18 points. Conversely, Trey Murphy III led the Pelicans with 21 points, with Zion Williamson contributing 20 points and a standout defensive effort.

However, the Pelicans faced adversity as Brandon Ingram suffered a left knee injury early in the second half, leaving his team and fans anxious about the extent of his injury.

“Hopefully, there’s nothing wrong with him,” Murphy expressed concern over Ingram’s condition.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Orlando’s comeback from a 12-point deficit in the first quarter was sparked by bench players Cole Anthony and Moritz Wagner, who ignited a 33-10 run. Banchero’s leadership and encouragement played a crucial role in the team’s turnaround.

“In the huddles, we kept saying, ‘Don’t panic, don’t worry. We’re getting what we want,’” Banchero recalled. “As long as we defend and get shots … everybody was just echoing the same thing – `Just stay at it. It’s going to come.’”

Despite a brief resurgence by the Pelicans, led by Murphy, Williamson, and CJ McCollum, the Magic secured their win with a decisive 8-0 run, capped off by a Banchero dunk that sealed the game.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

The Pelicans’ performance was hindered by their shooting accuracy and turnovers, with coach Willie Green acknowledging the need for improvement.

“We have to create 3-point opportunities for each other, and this is one of their strengths defensively,” Green said. “Every time the ball goes side to side, we got quality looks. But 20 3s is not enough. Give them credit. They were mentally tougher tonight than we were, and they were more disciplined tonight.”

As the teams prepare for their next games, the Pelicans face Miami, and the Magic host Sacramento. Both look to build on their performances and continue their pursuit of success in the NBA.

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