ORLANDO, Fla. — Markelle Fultz had 10 points and six assists in 16 minutes in his first game for the Orlando in almost 14 months as the Magic beat the visiting Indiana Pacers 119-103 on Monday night.
Fultz had been out since tearing his left ACL during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 6, 2021.
He returned to practice in December and made his long-awaited return Monday night, playing well before leaving the game with the Magic up by 16 points in the middle of the fourth quarter.
The No. 1 overall pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017 signed a three-year, $50 million extension with Orlando in December 2020. He had been averaging a career-best 14.3 points, along with 3.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists, prior to the injury.
Wendell Carter Jr. had 21 points and 12 rebounds and eight Orlando players scored in double figures in the win. Mo Bamba and Franz Wagner had 15 points apiece for Orlando.
Tyrese Haliburton had 23 points and seven assists for the Pacers, and Buddy Hield added 18 points.
Indiana forward Jalen Smith was ejected after picking up two technical fouls with 7:04 left in the third quarter. The ejection came in the middle of a 14-2 run by the Magic, and the Pacers never recovered.
Hield and Duane Washington Jr. hit 3-pointers during a 10-0 run midway through the second quarter that gave the Pacers their biggest lead of the game at 49-38. Carter answered with three dunks to help Orlando finish the half on a 17-7 spurt, and the Magic pulled ahead for keeps when Wagner and Carter opened the second half with a layup and a 3-pointer, respectively.
It was the second straight win for the Magic, and the ninth loss in 11 games for the Pacers.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Source: ESPN NBA