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Paolo Banchero gets triple-double as Magic cool off Pelicans

Mar 21, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) dunks during the second quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at KIA Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Paolo Banchero had a triple-double and the surging Orlando Magic cooled off the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 121-106 on Thursday night.

Banchero finished with 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as the Magic (42-28) won for the 13th time in 16 games. Jalen Suggs scored 22 points, Franz Wagner had 18, Moritz Wagner added 14 and Cole Anthony had 10.

Trey Murphy III scored 21, Zion Williamson had 20, CJ McCollum finished with 18, Brandon Ingram added 14 before leaving the game for good early in the third quarter after injuring his left knee and Herbert Jones scored 13 for the Pelicans (42-27), who lost for just the second time in nine games.

The Magic increased their nine-point halftime lead to 13 before Ingram went down barely two minutes into the third quarter and had to be helped to the locker room.

The lead grew to 14 points twice before McCollum and Murphy each made a 3-pointer to trim the lead to 76-69.

Franz Wagner scored the next four points and Suggs followed with four more to increase the lead to 84-70. Banchero scored seven points and Orlando took a 95-75 lead at the end of the third quarter.

New Orleans scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter, but the Magic answered with four straight points to rebuild the lead to 99-85 and coast from there.

The Pelicans raced to a 21-9 lead with 4:39 left in the first quarter. Suggs made two 3-pointers and added two free throws that completed a 6-0 run and trimmed Orlando’s deficit to 28-23 at the end of the first quarter.

The Magic continued their run by scoring the first five points of the second quarter to tie the score. Ingram made three consecutive field goals to give New Orleans a 34-32 lead before the Pelicans went cold.

Moritz Wagner, Jonathan Isaac and Anthony each made a 3-pointer to help Orlando open a 47-36 lead. Williamson made three field goals to help the Pelicans get within 57-48 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

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