LAS VEGAS — The third day of of the Las Vegas Summer League started out with a bang as two top-five draft picks squared off. It was the Paolo Banchero (No. 1 pick) and Keegan Murray (No. 4 pick) show, and it lived up to every expectation and then some. The game needed sudden-death double overtime and Banchero’s Orlando Magic secured the win, 94-92, over the Sacramento Kings in the main gym at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The Magic had a comfortable 18-point lead with 5:26 left in the game. There were a few bad turnovers and the Kings began to chip away at the lead. With just six seconds left, Sacramento was down six and Neemias Queta hit a three at the top of the key to cut it to three. The clock was winding down and Murray stole the inbounds ball and threw up a turnaround corner 3-pointer that went in, tying the game at 87.
The Kings scored six points in six seconds. Fans in the arena erupted as the two teams headed to overtime.
“Keegan is tough, he’s a great player,” Banchero said after the game. “Every time he shoots, I always thought it was going in, and on that last one at the end of the fourth, I told him I knew it was going in. He’s a great player and it’s fun competing against him.”
During Summer League, overtime is only two minutes. The Kings were up three with six seconds left when Magic guard Devin Cannady was fouled on a 3-point shot. He sank all three shots. The Kings had a good look with under five seconds, but Emanuel Terry came off the weakside to block Keon Ellis’ shot attempt and sent the game to sudden-death double overtime.
At this point, fans who were watching the Boston Celtics play the Miami Heat in Cox Pavilion made their way over to catch one of the best Summer League games in recent memory.
During sudden-death double OT (which rarely ever happens at Summer League), Banchero was called for a foul on a blocked shot on Queta’s dunk attempt. It was eventually overturned and the Magic got the ball back.
“I thought I got the ball clean so I was upset, but obviously they reviewed it and overturned it, so I was happy to get the ball back with the game on the line,” Banchero said. “I’m glad it didn’t end on free throws, especially a game like that, and we were able to play it out.”
Banchero had the ball in his hands with everyone on their feet in the arena. He drove the lane, drawing two defenders and found Terry for an easy basket.
“I was trying to get to the rim, but I knew they were going to load up and Keon Ellis ducked in and tried to hit the ball out of my hands. As soon as I looked up, ET [Emanuel Terry] made a great cut under the rim and I just found him,” Banchero said.
“Paolo throws bullets, so I knew I had to be ready,” Terry added, while laughing. “That game was a lot of fun and I give credit to all my teammates and coaches.”
Both Banchero and Murray were incredible. Banchero did a little bit of everything, finishing with 23 points, six rebounds, six assists, four steals, two assists and two blocks. Murray shot the ball incredibly well and posted 20 points (4-for-8 from 3-point range), nine rebounds and two assists.
So far, this draft class is living up to the hype with all top-five players performing well. Everyone tuned into the NBA in July got a treat, and there’s a lot to look forward to from the young players coming up.
“That was a fun one,” Banchero said, with a smile. “I’ve never played in a game with an ending like that. Six points in six seconds, that was crazy and I’m glad I got to experience it and come out with the win.”