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Feb 14, 2024 9:46 pm

Paolo Banchero, Magic steamroll Knicks

banchero knicks magic

Paolo Banchero scored 13 of his game-high 36 points during a decisive second-quarter surge on Wednesday night for the host Orlando Magic, who pulled away from the undermanned New York Knicks for a 118-100 victory in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break.

Banchero tied a career high by draining six 3-pointers for the Magic, who have won six of their past eight.

Franz Wagner had 21 points and six assists for the Magic, while Cole Anthony (11 points) and Moritz Wagner (10) each scored in double figures off the bench.

Jalen Brunson scored 20 of his 33 points in the first quarter for the injury-wracked Knicks, who lost for the fifth time in six games following a nine-game winning streak. New York is without All-Star Julius Randle (dislocated shoulder) and OG Anunoby (elbow surgery) indefinitely, while Mitchell Robinson (ankle surgery) is likely out for the rest of the regular season.

Isaiah Hartenstein (left Achilles), Donte DiVincenzo (right hamstring) and Bojan Bogdanovic (left calf) were also out Wednesday.

Precious Achiuwa (23 points, 14 rebounds) posted a double-double for the Knicks, while Alec Burks scored 13 points. Reserve Jacob Toppin added 10 points.

Brunson scored eight points during a 17-7 run that New York used to take a 36-27 lead after one quarter. Burks drained a 3-pointer to open the second before the Magic took control with a 17-0 outburst in which Moritz Wagner scored eight points, including a three-point play that put Orlando ahead for good at 40-39 with 8:38 left.

Banchero then scored 13 points over the final 5:35 of the quarter as the Magic began pulling away. Jonathan Isaac’s putback with 26.8 seconds left extended Orlando’s lead to 65-55 at the break.

The Knicks never closed within single digits in the final two quarters. Orlando opened a 15-point lead at 89-74 on Joe Ingles’ 3-pointer with 1:02 left in the third and took its biggest lead when Banchero’s dunk accounted for his final points and put the hosts ahead 111-88 with 5:01 remaining in the game.

–Field Level Media

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