Banchero, Wagner lead Magic over shorthanded Warriors

January 10, 2023

Just as the defending champion Warriors ushered in reinforcements, Klay Thompson’s surgically repaired left knee needed rest.

Paolo Banchero scored 25 points, and Franz Wagner added 24 as the Orlando Magic beat the Golden State Warriors 115-101 on Saturday night, the Warriors’ first back-to-back home losses of the season.

The Magic won at home to the Warriors for the 1st time in more than ten years.

Anthony Lamb came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points and five 3-pointers for Golden State, 14 of which came on four 3-pointers in the first quarter. Jordan Poole had 21 points, Donte DiVincenzo had 15 points and eight rebounds as the Warriors lost their second straight after a season-best five-game winning streak and six undefeated games at Chase Center. Detroit won 122-119 on Wednesday night when Sadiq Bay hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close the game.

All-Star Andrew Wiggins returned, and veteran Andre Iguodala made his long-awaited season debut, but Thompson suffered soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. He warmed up and was announced as the starter in pregame introductions.

“It got sore during the warmup, and the training staff looked at him and kept him out of the game for precautionary reasons,” coach Steve Kerr said.

Wiggins returned after missing 15 games with a strained right thigh muscle and a non-COVID illness. He scored 12 points in 19 minutes, delaying his expected return, including missing his bobblehead night on Wednesday.

Stephen Curry missed his 11th continuous game with a specific dislocated left shoulder but could return next week, hopefully starting a five-game road trip in San Antonio on Friday.

Iguodala is yet to play as the Warriors take a conservative approach to the 38-year-old’s left hip injury. He received a standing ovation for his first check-in at 7:28 of the first and other moments, ending at 12 minutes.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s been great to play with Iggy and Wiggs,” said two-way player Lamb, who felt the Warriors got off to a good start but couldn’t sustain their play with enough defensive stops.

Cole Anthony had 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, while Wendell Carter Jr. had 13 and 10 rebounds for Orlando.

“They brought it to us all night. They were the more opposing team,” Kerr said. “It felt like they were coming down the hill to us, and we didn’t have a lot of response. We couldn’t get the crowd in and generate much momentum, so I felt they controlled the game.”

Magic center Moritz Wagner returned from a three-game absence, one of which he fell ill, and then was suspended for two games for his Dec. 28 altercation with the Pistons in Detroit.

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