The Orlando Magic have stunned the Celtics again, beating them a second-straight game in Boston 95-92 on Monday (all times AEDT).
Paolo Banchero led the way for Orlando with 31 points and a career-high six triples plus six rebounds and two steals to continue the No.1 draft pick’s impressive rookie season.
It was a wild end to the game, with Malcolm Brogdon hitting a three to get the Celtics within one point with 56 seconds left. But the Magic got consecutive offensive rebounds on two misses including calling a timeout after a chaos battle for a rebound inside the last 15 seconds.
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The Celtics would force a turnover on the next inbound play though, before Orlando won it straight back with its own steal on the next possession in a crazy sequence.
Boston then sent Mo Wagner to the free-throw line, but the big man calming sank both free throws to ice the win for the visitors.
It marked a sixth-straight win for the Magic to continue their stunning uplift directly after a nine-game losing streak, improving to 11-20 overall and three and a half games outside the play-in tournament.
Meanwhile the Celtics, who were without Jayson Tatum for personal reasons, fell to 22-9 – a fourth loss from their last five games to slide to second in the East conference.
Jaylen Brown posted a team-high 24 points for the Celtics with 14 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Brown was clearly frustrated post-match, saying “it seems like every f***ing game” referees are targeting him for traveling calls, per reporter Jay King.
LAKERS DEALT MONSTER AD BLOW
Anthony Davis is set to miss at least one month with a right foot injury, reports The Athletic’s Shams Charania, in a devastating blow to the LA Lakers’ season.
Davis, who’s signed to a five-year $282m (AUD) deal, left the team’s win over Denver on Saturday with the injury and didn’t return, and he’s now set for an extended lay-off amid arguably a career-best stretch in the star big man’s career.
Over the last month, Davis has averaged 30.3 points on 64% shooting from the field and 82% from the line, 12.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.1 blocks to play a leading role in reviving the Lakers’ season.
After starting the campaign 2-10, LA has since gone 10-6 (currently 12-16 overall) to sit 12th in the West and one and a half games outside the play-in tournament.
But the Lakers will now need to get by without Davis, who’s arguably taken the mantle from LeBron James as the team’s best player, for the next several weeks – potentially longer given his injury history.
It’s good news however for the second-seeded New Orleans Pelicans, who have rights to swap first round-picks with the Lakers, as their prospects of landing Victor Wembanyama just got a significant boost.
It comes ahead of the Lakers’ road game against the Washington Wizards on Monday.
MAGIC 95 CELTICS 92
KNICKS – PACERS
NETS 124 PISTONS 121
WARRIORS 126 RAPTORS 110
BULLS 126 TIMBERWOLVES 150
HORNETS – NUGGETS
WIZARDS – LAKERS