March 24, 2023

It’s not going too well for the Indiana Pacers, who have just one win in their last nine outings. However, the performances of Quebecer Bennedict Mathurin are encouraging.

The 20-year-old led his team with 26 points. His forceful runs to the basket and two successful shots from downtown gave the Pacers faith, but the Orlando Magic still beat them 126-120 at the Amway Center on Wednesday night.

The visitors shot themselves in the foot by giving up no less than 46 points in the first quarter to the 13th ranked team in the NBA Eastern Conference. The Pacers (24-26) meanwhile continue to fall after a surprising first half of the campaign.

Buddy Hield and Myles Turner also crossed the 20-point plateau for the Indiana representatives.

The Magic were led by 23 points from another player who, like Mathurin, can aspire to the title of rookie of the year, Paolo Banchero. The 1st choice of the last draft shows an average of 20.7 points per game, against 17.5 for the Montrealer.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can’t do it all

In Oklahoma City, despite Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s 36 points, the Thunder lost 137-132 to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Thunder point guard is having the best season of his career with averages per game of 30.7 points and 5.5 assists. He therefore continued in this direction without however giving the victory to his people. His teammate Jalen Williams finished with 24 points.

Instead, it was star player Trae Young who played the spoilsport with a harvest of 33 points. Dejounte Murray and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 21 and 20 points respectively.

Montrealer Luguentz Dort finished his game with 12 points and four assists in 28 minutes. He also stole two balls and grabbed four rebounds.

The score was 133-132 with 15.3 seconds left in the game, but John Collins had two free throws seconds later that made it harder for the home favorites lineup.

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