Magic's Paolo Banchero Quickly Breaks Scoring Record Held by LeBron James in Game 7 vs. Cavaliers

May 3, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) warms up.
May 3, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) warms up. / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Though six games, Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero's first playoff series has been a rousing success.

The numbers tell all: in three Magic wins and three Cleveland Cavaliers wins in the first round, Banchero has averaged 25.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. His play has Orlando on the cusp of its first playoff series victory since 2010.

In the first half of Game 7 Sunday, however, Banchero went to another level. The Duke product exploded for 24 points against the Cavaliers—the most by a player 21 or younger in a Game 7 in the history of the NBA.

Whose record did he break? Cleveland fans may know this one.

That's right—Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 21 points in Game 7 of the 2006 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Detroit Pistons, which the Pistons won by the very '06 score of 79-61.

Cleveland rallied from a big first-half deficit to take the lead against the Magic, but Orlando fans will have Banchero's heroics win or lose.


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.