Takeaways From Markelle Fultz’s Much-Anticipated Return In Orlando
By Mark SchindlerMarkelle Fultz played in an NBA game for the first time in 418 days, returning to the Orlando Magic after a lengthy rehab for a knee injury. Fultz played 16 minutes in a sizable victory over the Indiana Pacers, finishing with 10 points and 6 assists, going 5 of 7 from the field. Fultz didn’t take a three last night, but he also didn’t fully need to, as Orlando schemed to try to make it all about getting to paint and creating. Fultz’s game is so predicated on interior play, so returning without hesitancy is so crucial to his efficacy and confidence. Overall, this was a really fun game from Fultz, as he demonstrated his feel and court vision.thewestsidegazette.com
LaMelo Ball becomes youngest NBA player with triple-double
Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier (3) dunks against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – LaMelo Ball isn't wasting any time making an impact in the NBA. “I know that's supposed to happen.”Ball replaced Markelle Fultz as the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double by 177 days. He became only the fifth rookie in NBA history to record a triple-double and the first Hornets player to do it coming off the bench. Hornets: Charlotte came in leading the league in assists and had 27 against the Hawks.
Fultz tears ACL, out for season; Magic beat Cavs 105-94
The team confirmed after the game that Fultz tore his ACL. “It’s a huge blow for us,” said Magic center Nikola Vucevic, whose team also will be without standout forward Jonathan Isaac this season because of an ACL tear. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft as he led the Magic to a quick start this season. Terrence Ross scored 20 points and hit five 3-pointers to lead the Magic, who beat the Cavaliers for a second time in three nights. Collin Sexton scored 21 points for Cleveland, his eighth straight game with at least 20 points to start the season.
Practice time will be in short supply in NBA this season
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra watches during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)The Miami Heat just wrapped up two consecutive days of practice, which is significant for this reason: It might not happen again for a while. Practice time is something that will be in short supply around the NBA this season; teams are basically playing every other day, and that — along with travel and mandated days off — realistically leaves time for no more than two practices per week. “I think you need to adjust and at least we’re all on an even playing field, so it’s all relative,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Every team in the NBA will have similar practice quandaries, which comes with the territory of having plenty of four-game weeks.
Magic beat Wizards130-120 despite Westbrook's historic night
Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) shoots as Washington Wizards forward Isaac Bonga (17) and forward Deni Avdija (9) defend in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Washington. (Geoff Burke/Pool Photo via AP)WASHINGTON – The Orlando Magic beat Washington 130-120 on Saturday night, overcoming another triple-double by Russell Westbrook in his home debut for the Wizards. Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Markelle Fultz added 21 points to help the Magic win its second straight to start the season. “I just hate losing.”Despite the triple-double from Westbrook and big night from Beal – who had 11 points in the fourth – the Magic were in control for most of the game. UP NEXTThe Magic and Wizards will complete their back-to-back in Washington on Sunday.
'Explosive' Durant scores 15 in 1st preseason game with Nets
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) passes during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in New York. Durant played just under 24 minutes as Brooklyn beat the Washington Wizards 119-114 on Sunday night in its preseason opener. Durant scored 11 points on 3-for-3 shooting during that stretch while Irving scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting to help the Nets take a 30-18 lead. Late in the first half, Irving threw a long pass to Durant, whose reverse layup gave the Nets a 58-35 lead. Danilo Gallinari added 17 points and De’Andre Hunter added 15 for Atlanta, which made 17 3-pointers.
John Wall back on floor, NBA opens preseason in empty arenas
Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford talks to players during a timeout in the first half of the team's NBA preseason basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. The NBA preseason — a truncated 49-game, nine-day sprint — opened Friday with a five-game slate, action returning to NBA arenas for the first time in exactly nine months. 8 pick Obi Toppin of the Knicks, got their first NBA minutes. Paul George had 10 for the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard managed three in 14 minutes. Both teams shot exactly 30 for 84 from the field, and none of the Clippers' starters logged even 15 minutes.
Bucks beat Magic 118-104, take series in 5 games
Williams scored all 12 of his points on 3-pointers, and Brook Lopez added 16 points for Milwaukee, which won four straight after dropping the opener. Nicola Vucevic had 22 points and 15 rebounds for Orlando, while Evan Fournier added 18 points. Middleton followed with a fade from the top of the key, Williams added another 3 and Middleton's free throw pushed the Bucks' lead back to 105-93 with 5:24 left. Orlando stayed close into the second quarter and was within six points when Marvin Williams 3 began a 23-12 Bucks run to end the half. Bucks: Outscored Orlando in the paint, 42-32 and finished with 16 3s on 45 attempts.
Middleton comes alive in 4th quarter; Bucks take 3-1 lead
Middleton scored 18 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 10 rebounds after being held to one field goal in the first three quarters on 1-of-9 shooting. Wesley Matthews added 12 points for the Bucks, who can close out the Magic on Wednesday. ... We had to pick up our intensity.Nikola Vucevic continued his strong play for the Magic, finishing with 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Terrence Ross had 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench. The top-seeded Bucks led by three entering the fourth quarter before Middleton came alive.