Duke basketball forward Wendell Carter nailed a game winning shot for the Orlando Magic.
The Brotherhood of the Duke basketball program is always on display and that was no different in Orlando on Thursday night.
In a return from the league’s All-Star Break the slumping Orlando Magic hosted the dreadful Detroit Pistons but the matchup between two bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference actually brought fireworks.
No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero was hoping to have another signature NBA moment with his first game winning shot as the two teams were tied 106-106 with 4.5 seconds left.
The rookie drove right to the basket but missed the shot in close but nothing was wasted because former Blue Devil Wendell Carter was in the perfect position to follow-up the miss and sink the game winning layup for Orlando.
Markelle Fultz, Carter’s teammate on the Magic, nearly stripped him of the rebound as the two players converged at the rim to try and tap the miss shot towards the basket.
Paolo Banchero quickly sprinted over to the corner in which Wendell Carter’s teammates were celebrating around to give him a major embrace for bailing him out and preventing the two teams from going to overtime.
Duke basketball forwards finding home with Orlando Magic
Wendell Carter’s buzzer beater layup capped off a 14-point, 14-rebound performance as the 4th year player continues to quietly have a strong season as he is quietly averaging 15.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game with the young Magic.
Paolo Banchero went for 11 points, six rebounds, and six assists in the 108-106 victory and is continuing his case for Rookie of the Year with 19.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per contest.
Orlando has the 10th-best record in the NBA since December 6 and the franchise is certainly proving that it will be a team to watch for next season if it can add a few more pieces around its cemented cornerstones.
The Magic (25-35) are currently three and a half games out of a spot in the Play-In Tournament but still face a daunting road to make the postseason.