NBA: Paolo Banchero stars, Magic down Celtics for sixth straight win
Paolo Banchero scored 31 points and made a career-best six 3-pointers to lift the Orlando Magic to Sunday’s 95-92 win over the host Boston Celtics.
Banchero added six rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. He was 7 of 12 from the field and 4 of 4 from downtown during a 22-point first half.
Four other Orlando players finished with at least 11 points.
Bol Bol had 11 and a team-high eight rebounds, while Admiral Schofield scored 13 and hit three triples.
The Magic have won six straight and swept the two-game series in Boston.
The Magic extend their win streak to 6 behind a strong performance from Paolo Banchero:
6/7 3PM pic.twitter.com/hZkqSfxpwi
— NBA (@NBA) December 18, 2022
Jaylen Brown had 24 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and two blocks for Boston, which has lost four of five.
Boston played without star Jayson Tatum (personal reasons).
The Celtics shot just 27.9 percent and scored a season-low 41 points in the first half. They finished at 34.8 percent.
Orlando opened the fourth quarter on a 12-4 run that finished with Franz Wagner and Schofield layups. Brown followed with five of nine straight Boston points to take an 84-80 lead.
A Schofield 3-pointer and Markelle Fultz layup put the Magic back up 85-84 with 4:54 left. After a Grant Williams three-point play lifted Boston, Banchero and Wagner extended the Orlando lead.
Malcolm Brogdon’s corner three with 56.2 seconds left brought the Celtics within 93-92. After Smart grabbed a loose inbounds pass, the Celtics turned the ball over again and Moe Wagner hit two free throws to clinch the win.
Earlier, after Derrick White set up a Brown layup to give Boston a 31-30 second-quarter lead, Banchero hit two more triples and Orlando led by 10 after a 7-0 stretch — including five consecutive Bol points — during the final three minutes of the opening half.
The Celtics scored three of their first five third-quarter treys, and Smart’s trimmed a 10-point deficit to two less than four minutes in. Following the timeout, Brown hit a wing triple to extend the 10-2 run and lift the Celtics to a 57-56 edge.
Cole Anthony and Banchero fueled a 7-2 Orlando spurt that was interrupted only by a Robert Williams III alley-oop, but the Celtics scored the quarter’s last eight points to go on top 71-68. Two Brown dunks punctuated the frame.