Magic pull out close win over Hornets to end 3-1 road trip
Published in Basketball
As cliché as it sounds — or ultimately may be — Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley has reiterated the same message about his team’s approach throughout the season: By committee.
That mindset was on full display in the Magic’s 119-113 win over the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center.
Despite being without Mo Bamba and Jalen Suggs as a result of the league’s penalties from Friday’s on-court altercation with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero not having their most efficient scoring games, the Magic (22-32) hardly missed a beat.
Led by Banchero’s 22 points (6-of-20 shooting but 10 of 11 on free throws) 10 rebounds and 5 assists, all 10 Magic players who received playing time scored at least 6 points, including 9 who scored 8-plus.
The Magic pummeled Charlotte on the offensive glass, grabbing 18 offensive rebounds for 20 second-chance points.
They once again locked in defensively in the middle two quarters, weathering another slow defensive start after allowing the Hornets to take a 37-28 first-quarter lead.
Orlando held the Hornets to 48 combined points in the second and third to take a 90-85 lead heading into the fourth.
Pulling out the victory didn’t come easy for the Magic.
The Hornets (15-40) battled, taking a 91-90 lead early in the fourth and 95-92 later in the quarter.
But the Magic found their level, staying composed and leaning their defense and a variety of shotmaking down the stretch to go 3-1 on the road trip.
Wendell Carter Jr., who sat Friday, had a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double to go with 3 assists.
Markelle Fultz finished with 16 points (8-of-13 shooting), 5 assists and 3 steals.
Wagner had 14 points but on 5-of-16 shooting.
Rookie forward Caleb Houstan had 8 points on 3-of-4 shooting in his first game with Orlando since Jan. 10.
The Magic’s bench combined for 39 points.
The Magic have already matched their win total from last season, with 28 regular-season games remaining.
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