Duke basketball superstar prevented opportunity from signature moment in NBA Playoffs

Paolo Banchero didn't get a shot attempt with the game on the line in the NBA Playoffs
Duke basketball superstar Paolo Banchero
Duke basketball superstar Paolo Banchero / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Paolo Banchero has quickly cemented himself as one of the best young players in the NBA just two years after leaving the Duke basketball program and he proved it yet again on Tuesday night.

With the Orlando Magic having the opportunity to win three consecutive games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and take a 3-2 series lead on the road, Banchero was doing everything possible for the Magic.

The second year player had 36 points in the final seconds with his team trailing by two, 102-100, and just 13.1 seconds remaining. Instead of letting the former Blue Devil try and create for Orlando, they gave the ball to Franz Wagner to try and tie the game.

Wagner, who had 14 points on 3-of-10 shooting at the time, drove to the basket and was quickly blocked by Evan Mobley. Donovan Mitchell hit two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to end the game.

To put a bow on the entire situation, Banchero would hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer on the final possession as Cleveland won, 104-103. He finished with 39 points, eight rebounds, and four assists on 14-of-24 shooting.

Banchero, at that point, had 13 points in the fourth quarter on 4-of-8 shooting while Wagner had just three points on 1-of-4 attempts. It felt clear who should have had the ball in the final seconds with the game hanging in the balance.

It was the most points a Magic player has scored in the playoffs since 2011 and he became the third youngest player in NBA history with multiple 30-point postseason games.

Paolo Banchero is averaging 24.8 points per game in this series, while also posting 7.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists on 48.5-percent shooting from the floor and 37.9-percent from 3-point range.

He will try and extend the Magic's season on Friday night (TBD, TBD) as the series returns to Orlando for Game 6.