‘He is very locked in’: Cole Anthony impresses in return to starting lineup

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Cody Taylor
·2 min read
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With Michael Carter-Williams out due to an ankle injury, Orlando Magic rookie Cole Anthony earned the start on Friday and turned in one of his finest performances of the season.

Anthony finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists during a 113-102 loss to the Toronto Raptors. He converted on 6-of-12 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, in 29 minutes of work. His 19 points were two shy of tying a career-high this season.

“I thought he did a good job,” Magic head coach Steve Clifford said. “He had stretches where we were down 10-12 (points) and we just went to pick-and-rolls for him. We were getting good shots quickly. It gave us a chance to get back into the game but we just couldn’t get any stops. I think he’s very locked in and I thought he did a lot of good things.”

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The performance by Anthony was just his sixth game back since missing over a month with a rib injury. In each game, Anthony looks to be returning to the level he was playing at prior to the injury as he continues to get more comfortable on the court.

Anthony started in 17 games prior to Friday once Markelle Fultz went down with a knee injury. Though just a rookie, Anthony has shown flashes of being a strong floor general with the Magic, and his teammates have noticed.

“He is just making the right plays, hitting shots,” Chuma Okeke said. “He just be having fun out there, for real. Cole brings a lot of energy to the team and he is a real cool dude to be around off the court and on the court. He just be out there having fun and getting everybody involved and making good plays.”

With Carter-Williams expected to miss some time, Anthony will likely remain in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future and that could mean more performances like Friday night are in store for the 15th overall pick.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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