ORLANDO, FL – It was a touch return to Orlando for Charlotte Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford as his former team, the Orlando Magic, beat them 113-103 for their first win of thee 2022-23season after goin 0-5.
The Magic were very shorthanded, missing Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Markelle Fultz, and Gary Harris from their guards, and big men Moritz Wagner and Jonathan Isaac from their roster, all due to injuries.
It was, however, another big night for rookie Paolo Banchero, who continued to set records this season with his play.
Banchero score 21 points for the Magic, making it 6 games straight in his first NBA season, Joining Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Elvin Hayes, Dominique Wilkins and Grant Hill. Nobody was less impressed than the 6-foot-10 rookie.
”People hit me up after games and text me all these stats,” Banchero said. ”Not to sound full of myself or anything, but it’s just kind of what I expect out of myself, playing at this level and being able to score. I just feel like I’ve been blessed by God with the body, the skill, the IQ, so what I’ve been doing is kind of what I expected to do.”
Banchero also is second in scoring for the magic, scoring 141 points in his first six games, second on Shaquille O’Neal who scored 158 in 1992.
Outside of Banchero’s 21 points and 12 rebounds, Mo Bamba contributed 19 points with 6 recounts and 3 blocked shots, Wendell Carter Jr scored 15 points with 5 rebounds.
The Hornets were lead by Gordion Hayward with 18 points, but were hurt with 15 turnovers that lead to 16 Orlando points.
Orlando dominated in the paint against the Hornets 56 yo 38, with Orlando pulling away from Charlotte with big second and third quarters. the Magic started the fourth quarter with a 32 point lead.
The 7-2 Bol Bol got his first start for Orlando at forward and played a career-high 26 minutes. … Banchero posted a plus-27 plus/minus in 27 minutes. … The Magic are 57-58 all-time against the Hornets
Orlando moves on to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Sunday, at 7:30pm.