Paolo Banchero Comes Up Clutch at the Line as Magic Edge Clippers in OT Thriller

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Paolo Banchero scored 10 of his 23 points in overtime, including six from the free throw line in the final seven seconds, as the Orlando Magic overcame an 18-point first-quarter deficit to pull out a 116-111 thrilling victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night at Amway Center.

Clutch Moments

Bol Bol made a putback layup with just over a minute left in the extra session that gave the Magic a two-point lead. The Clippers went back in front on their next possession with a Nicolas Batum 3-pointer. After getting fouled on a drive with seven seconds remaining, Banchero drilled a pair of go-ahead free throws. The Clippers, coming out of a timeout, were then called for a five-second inbound violation. Banchero made four more at the line to seal Orlando’s sixth win of the season.

Top Performers

Although he didn’t have a great shooting night, making five of his 13 attempts from the field, Banchero knocked down 13 of his 14 free throws. Bol and Moe Wagner each scored 20 points and combined for 22 rebounds. Franz Wagner, who like Banchero struggled to get into a rhythm, came alive late and finished with 15 points and six rebounds.

Interesting Note

Neither Kawhi Leonard nor Paul George were on the floor to start overtime. Leonard, who scored 14 points in 30 minutes, reentered the game with 1:22 left in the extra session. He missed a potential go-ahead mid-range jumper with 16.9 seconds left. George, who had just 11 points in 33 minutes, came back in with just 5.5 ticks on the clock. He had missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer to end regulation.

Key Stretch

The Magic were down 15 with two minutes and change left in the third quarter before going on a 25-4 run to go up six early in the fourth. 

Quote of the Day

“I think the whole game, I was letting the game come to me. I was really focused defensively this game on my assignment and trying to slow down Leonard. I think the ball just found me later in the game. I don’t think that I was passive. I think that I was aggressive all game and I was just letting it come to me. I just tried to take my opportunities when they came.” - Banchero

Injury Report

Gary Harris (right hamstring soreness), Wendell Carter Jr. (right plantar fascia strain), Jalen Suggs (right ankle soreness), Chuma Okeke (left knee soreness), and Jonathan Isaac (left knee rehabilitation) were out for the Magic. John Wall (knee), Norman Powell (groin), Luke Kennard (calf), and Marcus Morris (illness) were unavailable for the Clippers.

In the News

On Tuesday, the Magic assigned Jonathan Isaac to practice with the Lakeland Magic – the organization’s G League affiliate – as the 6-foot-10 forward takes the next step in his rehab process. Isaac, 25, hasn’t appeared in a game since Aug. 2, 2020 when he tore his ACL in his left knee during a game in the Disney bubble against the Sacramento Kings.

This Day in History

On Dec. 7, 1993, Shaquille O’Neal recorded 27 points and 16 rebounds and Penny Hardaway, just a rookie then, scored 20 points, as the Magic defeated the Detroit Pistons in Orlando. Joe Dumars led the Pistons with 28 points, while Isiah Thomas, playing in the last season of his NBA career, had 17 points and 10 assists. 

Rivals Report

Entering the season, many felt the Clippers were the best team in the West. That was of course assuming that Kawhi Leonard would be back to playing at the level that he was playing at before his knee injury during the 2021 playoffs. That’s a wait-and-see situation, as so far, he’s been in the out of the lineup. Good news for L.A., nonetheless, is that their defense has been top-notch – with or without Leonard and/or George. They currently possess the league’s fifth-best defensive rating. Their offense, on the other hand, is way behind. They rank 28th on that end. 

Up Next

Late last week, the Magic took on the Raptors in Toronto. Now, it’s the Raptors’ turn to come to Central Florida. They will, in fact, have an extended stay in Orlando, as the two teams will play on Friday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 6 p.m. In the previous meeting, OG Anunoby erupted for 32 points and Pascal Siakam came close to a triple-double with 26 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists in Toronto’s lopsided victory. Bol and Terrence Ross each scored 18 points to lead Orlando, while two-way contract player Admiral Schofield had a season-best 13 points.