By JOHN DENTON
ORLANDO, Florida — Former top overall draft pick Markelle Fultz suffered a season-ending tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the first quarter of the Orlando Magic's 105-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time).
The Magic confirmed the ACL injury after the game and said Fultz would miss the rest of the season.
Fultz, who was off to the best start of his career, was driving to the basket less than five minutes into the game when he was cut off by Isaac Okoro and his left knee buckled without contact. The Orlando point guard writhed in pain on the floor for several minutes before he was helped into a wheelchair.
Fultz signed a three-year, $50 million extension last month and was finally showing the promise that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft as he led the Magic to a quick start this season. He came in averaging a career-best 14-3 points in seven games.
Fultz was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as part of their lengthy rebuild but struggled for years with a tough-to-diagnose shoulder injury that ruined his jump shot. He was traded to the Magic in February 2019.
Terrence Ross scored 20 points and hit five 3-pointers to lead the Magic, who beat the Cavaliers for a second time in three nights.
Dwayne Bacon added 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting and Nikola Vucevic chipped in 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for an Orlando squad off to its best eight-game start since the 2017-18 season. Down by as much as 13 points early on, the Magic surged ahead by as much as 21 early in the fourth quarter.
Collin Sexton scored 21 points for Cleveland, his eighth straight game with at least 20 points to start the season. That broke LeBron James' franchise record from 2004-05. Sexton played through a left ankle sprain suffered in the first half.
Orlando missed its first six 3-point tries but made 10 of 17 from beyond the arc in the second and third quarters. Cleveland was 4 of 26 from 3-point range.
Andre Drummond had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavs, his eighth straight double-double.
Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he stopped his preparations for the game to watch supporters of President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol. "It's saddening and it's disgusting, to be honest with you. Our democracy has been a beacon for hundreds of years of what the world ideologically should be, and people have looked up to us all over the world. And what is happening there is a disgrace," he said.
Cavaliers: At Memphis on Thursday.
Magic: At Houston on Friday.