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Magic handle Pistons as Markelle Fultz provides boost off bench

Jason Beede, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

ORLANDO, Fla. — Markelle Fultz soared through the sky and slammed home an offensive rebound to open the second quarter for the Magic on Sunday night against the Pistons.

It was the highlight of the evening at Kia Center for Fultz, whose putback dunk was part of a larger run when the Orlando point guard scored 10 straight points from the first into the second quarter during the Magic’s 113-91 victory over Detroit (9-51).

Fultz, who’s made 15 starts this season including opening night, came off the bench for the third straight contest and was efficient doing so.

He was 6 of 6 from the field for 12 points during 11 first-half minutes as he helped push the pace for the Magic’s second unit.

Fultz finished with a season-high 16 points to go with 3 rebounds while forward Paolo Banchero led Orlando (35-26) with 29 points.

Wendell Carter Jr. added 19 and Franz Wagner totaled 13. Each grabbed 8 rebounds as the Magic outrebounded the Pistons 48-28.

 

The Magic won their third straight game with Fultz coming off the bench but they’re 6-6 in those instances.

Coach Jamahl Mosley has said Fultz is continuing to ramp up his minutes after returning from a three-game absence due to left-knee injury maintenance. Fultz missed 27 straight earlier in the season due to knee tendinitis.

The left knee is the same one that Fultz had surgery on to repair a torn ACL eight games into the 2020-21 season.

“As you know, being able to ramp guys up, for me and this group, it’s a little different to be able to play guys off the bench because you can look at and monitor the minutes in which they play,” Mosley said pre-game Sunday when asked if there’s an expectation for Fultz to eventually return to Orlando’s starting lineup or if it’s just a matter of how things go moving forward.

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