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Magic's Isaac felt 'relief and peace' in 1st NBA game since bubble

Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Jonathan Isaac began his comeback from injury Monday evening, posting 10 points, three boards, and a pair of steals in the Orlando Magic's 113-98 victory over the league-leading Boston Celtics.

Isaac expressed his gratitude following the Magic's upset win in his first NBA contest since August 2020.

"Relief and peace," Isaac told reporters when asked about his emotions after his season debut, according to ESPN's Andrew Lopez. "Peace like, 'God, you got me.' I appreciate it. He truly is faithful.

"I just want to thank Him. Because this night could have gone so many ways, and for it to go the way it did, I appreciate Him for it. So, there's a peace, a relief to it, so let's keep going."

Isaac's career was on the rise before he suffered a torn ACL against the Sacramento Kings in the NBA bubble. The Florida State product was averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 boards, 2.3 blocks, and 1.6 steals prior to the injury during the 2019-20 campaign. The season prior, he ranked 17th in the Association in block percentage (4.1%) and 20th in total swats (98).

Isaac missed the entire 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns. He made three appearances for the Magic's G League affiliate prior to Monday.

The former No. 6 overall pick received a standing ovation from the home crowd as he checked into the contest and was doused with water postgame by his teammates as they celebrated his long-awaited return.

"There were days where I was like, 'I don't know if I want to keep going,'" Isaac said. "But then again, I have to thank Christ. Being able to go back to my faith and say, 'God has me on this journey for a purpose.' I know that I was made to play basketball. I was made to give glory to God on this stage."

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