It was quite the debut for Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero. Banchero notched a team-high 27 points with nine rebounds and five assists in Orlando’s 113-109 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. The 19-year-old became the first rookie to post a 25-5-5 line in his first career NBA game since LeBron James accomplished the feat in 2003.
“It means a lot, I guess,” said Banchero. “Obviously, would have liked to win. But I just wanted to play hard, play for the team, and that happened, so it’s a blessing.”
The first overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Banchero’s 27 points are the most by a Magic player in his debut in franchise history.
“Credit to my teammates for finding me,” Banchero said. “It’s always nice to see the ball get in that early, get easy buckets around the rim. That’s how I try to play, inside out. Try to get easy stuff around the basket and expand out and do more stuff throughout the game.”
The former Duke standout will look to build on his impressive performance Friday when Orlando battles the Atlanta Hawks.
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