ORLANDO (AP) – Paolo Banchero scored 17 points in the number one pick’s first home appearance, and the Orlando Magic beat the Memphis Grizzlies 109-105 yesterday.
Wendell Carter Jr led the Magic with 18 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, Terrence Ross scored 17 points and Franz Wagner finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Wagner also had two steals, including a key one with 30 seconds left as the Grizzlies made a final run.
Desmond Bane, who struggled shooting early in the preseason, scored 33 points, converting 11 of 18 shots, including four of six from 3-point range. Ja Morant scored 23, but had a rough night from the field, shooting eight for 24 and missing all six from behind the arc.
Banchero helped the Magic to a quick lead with 13 points in the first half. Orlando led by as much as 18, but Memphis got within single digits in the fourth quarter. Unlike other preseason games, both teams came back with the bulk of their starters for the final six minutes. That made for an entertaining close to the game as the teams traded baskets until the Magic pulled away at the end.
Caleb Houston, a second-round pick out of Michigan, had 13 points for the Magic. Bol Bol finished with nine points and nine rebounds.