Feb 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Eastern Conference forward Paolo Banchero (5) of the Orlando Magic dunks the ball against the Western Conference All-Stars during the second quarter in the 73rd NBA All Star game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Paolo Banchero Makes First All-Star Game Appearance

Paolo Banchero, a forward for the Orlando Magic (30-25), made his all-star debut in the NBA’s 73rd All-Star Game. The Eastern Conference dominated the Western Conference 211-186 Sunday night.

https://twitter.com/NBA/status/1759458519726645429

Banchero was a part of all-star history on Sunday. The East’s 211 points marked the first-ever team to reach the 200-point mark and it was the highest-scoring game in all-star history.Alongside Bucks star player Damian Lillard, who had a team-high of 39 points, Banchero recorded nine rebounds, six points and five assists.

https://twitter.com/OrlandoMagic/status/1759439379393663468

Making Headlines

After being named last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year, Banchero has helped lead Orlando into playoff contention. The last time the Magic had a player participate in the all-star game was 2021 when Nikola Vucevic was selected. At 21 years old, Banchero is the youngest all-star this season. So far this season, Banchero has averaged 23 points and seven rebounds per game and he leads the team in points, rebounds and assists per game.

Orlando entered all-star weekend sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. If the playoffs began Monday, they would play in the NBA Play-In game, but they only sit 0.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers, who sit in sixth.

Alongside Banchero, forward Franz Wagner is also having a strong season, averaging 21.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. Additionally, Jalen Suggs averages 12.3 points per game.

What’s Next

The Magic’s first game after the break will take place on Thursday. They’ll be on the road against a strong Cleveland Cavaliers, who have a record of 36-17. The Cavaliers currently sit in second in the Eastern Conference and tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Then, Orlando will remain on the road to face the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, and the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

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