Banchero's 23 points lead Magic in comeback from 17 down to defeat Timberwolves 108-106
Fri, Feb 2, 2024
NBA News (AP)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Paolo Banchero had 23 points and six assists to help the Orlando Magic overcome a 17-point second-quarter deficit and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-106 on Friday.
Wendell Carter Jr. added 18 points and 12 rebounds, Franz Wagner scored 19 points and Jalen Suggs pitched in 15 points in his hometown for the Magic in their rally.
Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 16 rebounds and Anthony Edwards scored 22 points for the Wolves, whose NBA -leading scoring defense has been hindered at times by an underperforming offense. This was another example of ill-timed turnovers and ill-advised shots down the stretch, as the Wolves had just 18 points in the fourth quarter.
Banchero's layup - giving him his 33rd game this season with 20-plus points - with 5:26 left capped a 15-2 run and put the Magic up 98-93 for their largest lead of the game.
Mike Conley missed a runner for the Wolves with 1:40 left, and Jonathan Isaac tipped in a rebound for the Magic with 1:16 to go for a 105-101 lead. Gobert hit two foul shots on the other end and rebounded a miss of Banchero's jumper, but Conley missed the go-ahead 3-point attempt.
The Wolves fell back into a tie for first place in the Western Conference with the Oklahoma City Thunder both at 34-15 with the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers and hot on their heels too.
The Magic, who haven't been to the playoffs in four years or won a series since 2010, are tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. They showed some serious mettle after falling behind 43-26 halfway through this six-game road trip. The Wolves sank 16 of their first 21 shots from the floor, but after cooling off the Magic seized their opening right before halftime.
Edwards was in the locker room at that point for treatment on an injury to his right leg that had him hobbling off with 4:20 left in the second quarter, when he banged into Carter on a drive in the lane.
Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns were announced on Thursday as West All-Stars. Gobert was not, an omission that riled up his teammates. Banchero was selected for the East squad.
Gobert scored 11 points in the first quarter without missing a shot from the floor or the line.
Suggs, the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft after one season at Gonzaga, starred at Minnehaha Academy High School in Minneapolis and grew up across the river in St. Paul. He hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the third quarter to tie the game at 64.
Magic: Visit the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
Timberwolves: Host the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBADAVE CAMPBELL Campbell is a sports reporter for The Associated Press, based in Minneapolis. He has covered all of the major teams in Minnesota as well as stories of national interest for the AP since 2000. twitter "