The Magic upset the Nuggets in Denver on Friday, thanks in no small part to a huge game from second-year star Paolo Banchero. Photo Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) walks off the court after the game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic went on the road and upset the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, handing the defending champions a 122-120 defeat. Paolo Banchero, Orlando’s second-year star, was a driving force behind that victory.

Banchero finished with a triple-double, scoring 32 points, dishing out 11 assists and hauling in 10 rebounds. He also recorded three steals for the Magic. That’s a stat line that only a select few players Banchero’s age have ever achieved in a game. And the other players who have are certainly names you’ll recognize.

Banchero is one of now seven players in NBA history to have at least 30/10/10/3 in a game before turning 22. The others? Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Steph Curry and Luka Dončić.

While anyone can have a great game, the fact that those were the only six players to do so before Banchero is telling. Johnson, Thomas and Jordan are Hall of Famers, James and Curry surefire locks and Dončić is (at worst) well on his way.

Fans were impressed to see Banchero join such a decorated list of players.

For the season, Banchero is now averaging 22.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.03 steals and 0.57 blocked shots per game. He’s shooting 46.2% from the field, 37.5% on threes and 72% on free throws. Friday’s win moved the Magic to 20-15, good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

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