Basketball News

Franz Wagner Hits All 11 Free Throws, Sets Magic Record

Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner made all 11 of his free throw attempts, the most without a miss in a Finals game in franchise history, during Friday night's 103-96 Game 6 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Tracy McGrady set the precedent mark with nine straight free throws at Milwaukee on April 22, 2001. Wagner, 22, scored 26 points and finished 7-of-16 (43.8%) shooting from the field. The third-year wing also grabbed five rebounds and drained 3 points in 41 minutes of action.

According to several NBA betting sites, the Magic hold the ninth-best odds to win the championship. Sportsbooks show the best odds for the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, and Cavaliers.

Paolo Banchero scored 10 of his 27 points in the final frame of Game 6. This came just days after scoring a game-high 39 points in a one-point road loss that left the Magic on the brink of elimination.

“We learned a lot from this series, we see what works and what doesn't,” said Banchero, who scored three points to put Orlando ahead 92-89. “Knowing what we have to do to win the game.”

Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, and Jalen Suggs became the third trio under the age of 23 to score at least 20 points in a playoff game.

However, Wagner believes the victory was a team effort.

“It speaks to everyone's character,” Wagner said of the Magic's rising bench.

Cole Anthony scored nine points in 19 minutes as a reserve, while Markelle Fultz added six points. Orlando outscored the Cavaliers 30-18 in the fourth quarter and shot 22-of-26 (84.6%) from the foul line.

“It is an honor for these boys to stay locked up inside. I thought Cole won the game. He played big minutes off the bench, made plays on both ends and that's what it takes to be successful in the play-offs.”

Jalen Suggs had 22 points as well. Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, and Suggs were the only three players under the age of 23 in NBA history to score 20 or more points in a playoff game. The trio joins Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, as well as Durant, Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka.

The Magic, in the playoffs for the first time since 2020, are looking for their first series win in 14 years.

“As we head into Game 7, the ability to come together and continue to grow each game, I think that's what this team is looking forward to,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “It won't be easy, and we don't want it to be easy. The harder it gets, the better we will be.”

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