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.
keep building 🪄 pic.twitter.com/aWB7sxPEyH— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) March 1, 2022
"Just a huge night," said Fultz, who also had six assists. "A long time coming for myself and my teammates. The fight every day to get to where we are today for me to be back on the court with these guys who have been competing hard all year long. To be able to go out there and get a W my first game back, and help this team get a W, it meant the world to me. And to see the joy and excitement on everybody's face, it really means a lot to me. And we had a lot of fun."
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.
"It was very easy for me to come in and be relaxed, and be myself,'' he said.
Carter said he was happy to see Fultz back on the court.
"The stuff I've seen him do in the past, when he was healthy, I was excited just to be on the court with him,'' Carter said. "This was a special one for me and a special one for him. When he gets his legs underneath him a little more, this team is going to be a whole lot better."
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.