The Orlando Magic had to play without rookie forward Paolo Banchero, their leading scorer, for the first time in Wednesday’s home game vs. the Dallas Mavericks.
While his absence was felt, especially offensively, the Magic (3-9) locked in defensively to pick up a 94-87 victory over the Mavericks (6-4) at Amway Center for the second win of their seven-game homestand.
The Mavericks’ points were a season-low and the fewest the Magic have held a team to this season.
“I’m so proud of these guys,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “They did a heck of a job sticking with the gameplan.”
With Banchero sidelined, second-year forward Franz Wagner led the Magic with 22 points (9-of-17 shooting), 6 assists and 3 rebounds.
He was one of five Magic players who scored at least 10 points.
Orlando held Luka Dončić, who entered Wednesday averaging 36 points, to a season-low 24 points on 9-of-29 shooting to go with 6 rebounds and 6 assists. It ended his streak of consecutive games scoring at least 30 points to start the season at nine.
Chuma Okeke, who stepped into the starting lineup alongside Wagner, Jalen Suggs, Bol Bol and Wendell Carter Jr., was the primary defender on Dončić.
“He did a great job,” Mosley said. “He did a great job staying on his body and showing his hands.”
The Magic ruled Banchero out pregame because of a sprained left ankle he suffered in Monday’s 134-127 loss to the Houston Rockets at Amway Center.
“He’ll be day to day,” Mosley said. “He’s moving around a little bit but probably more sore than anything.”
Banchero, the No. 1 pick in June’s draft, was added to the team’s evening injury report on Tuesday, listed as questionable until two hours before tipoff.
He rolled the ankle on a drive to the basket with 2:51 remaining against the Rockets.
Banchero did finish Monday’s game, recording 30 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 12 of 14 on free throws to go with 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 35 minutes.
He was one of five Magic players who had played in all 11 games entering Wednesday and one of three, along with Carter Jr. and Wagner, to start every matchup.
Banchero was averaging a team-high 23.5 points, which also is the most among rookies and 21st among all players, to go with 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 34.6 minutes entering Wednesday.
Two-way guard Kevon Harris also was ruled out because of a left rib contusion.
Cole Anthony (torn right internal oblique), Markelle Fultz (fractured left big toe), Gary Harris (left knee injury recovery), Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury recovery) and Moe Wagner (sprained right midfoot) remain sidelined.
“The great part about this team is they each step into a role,” Mosley said. “They know when their numbers are called, they’ll be ready. You saw that the other night with Mo Bamba. You see that with what Kevon has done being able to step in. With guys being out, other guys are going to step into that role and they do it willingly.”
Wednesday’s game tipped off at 5:30 p.m., 1½ hours earlier than originally scheduled, because of Hurricane Nicole. There was an announced attendance of 18,165 despite the change.
To honor the men, women and their families for their service, the Magic and L3Harris teamed up for the 19th consecutive season to host Seats for Soldiers Night on Wednesday.
As part of the event, the entire Magic team honored deceased soldiers by holding their jerseys with each soldier’s name listed on the back before the national anthem. Each player signed the jersey that was given to the families of the soldiers.
More than 2,200 active and retired military personnel and their families attended the game, with L3Harris and the Magic providing two hospitality suites to the game for Central Florida military personnel.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.