November 29, 2022

You might have missed it since it occurred during the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, but the game between the Orlando Magic and Sacramento Kings was one of the more entertaining contests of the young NBA season. Both teams are in the midst of rebuilds, but both boast a plethora of young talent, and that talent was on full display. 

De’Aaron Fox, 24, continued his strong start to the season with an impressive 37-point, five-rebound, three-assist performance that included an epic, pull-up game winning shot from way downtown in overtime. The shot, which Fox launched from the Magic logo near center court, came on the heels of the Kings allowing the Magic to tie the game at 123 thanks to Orlando forcing a turnover as Sacramento was inbounding the ball.

Fox’s shot dropped through the net just as the final buzzer sounded, giving Sacramento a memorable 126-123 victory. This is a shot you’re going to want to see: 

It takes some major confidence to even attempt that shot and some serious skill to drain it. In the locker room after the game, Fox’s teammates welcomed him with a water bottle shower: 

Fox didn’t do it alone, of course. Domantas Sabonis added 25 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for Sacramento, while Malik Monk and Trey Lyles each added 15 points off the bench. The win was the best of the Kings’ season thus far, and perhaps it will be one they can build on moving forward. 

And it’s not just that they won, it’s how they won. Orlando led by 20 at one point, and Sacramento fought their way back. Understandably, Magic fans were dejected by the outcome, but there’s plenty of reason for optimism given what the year’s top overall draft pick Paolo Banchero has been doing over the first three weeks of the season.

Banchero is having a historic start to his NBA career, and he had his most productive performance to date against Sacramento. In 40 minutes, he tallied career highs with 33 points and 16 rebounds. In the process, he became the second-youngest player in league history to record at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in a game. Only LeBron James accomplished the feat at a younger age. 

Banchero, 19, already looks like a stud. He has an elite combination of size and athleticism, and his basketball IQ is also on point. He has the making of a perennial All-Star, as long as he is able to remain healthy. In addition to Banchero, Franz Wagner, 21, had his best game of the season, finishing with 31 points and six assists, and Bol Bol, 22, also added a career high 23 points and seven rebounds.

Source link