Magic Snap Road Losing Streak
Orlando 104, Charlotte 93
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 20 (Ticker) -- Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard combined to give the Orlando Magic a rare positive road experience.
Turkoglu scored 24 points and Howard added 19 with a career-high 21 rebounds to lead the Magic to a 104-93 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
"We really needed a win tonight, especially on the road," Howard said. "My mind-set tonight was to really focus in on bearing down and getting a win. I wanted to do everything in my will to get that win tonight."
Turkoglu helped the Magic gradually pull away with 11 points in the second quarter, including seven straight for Orlando for a 41-30 lead with 5:35 to go.
"I was feeling good tonight," said Turkoglu, who made 6-of-15 shots. "It was a good game for me. I got open because they were double-teaming Dwight and Tony (Battie). They passed the ball out and found the open guy. ... I'm like all shooters. I just had to knock down the shots."
The Magic continued to wear down Charlotte in the third quarter, scoring eight consecutive points to widen the margin to 73-52 with 4:43 left. Turkoglu opened the run with a 3-pointer and DeShawn Stevenson scored the next five.
"It was a good team effort," Turkoglu said. "Hopefully, we can continue like this and get another win against Sacramento (on Saturday), too."
After Brevin Knight made a three-point play and Jake Voskuhl hit a layup to bring the Bobcats within 73-59, rookie Travis Diener buried two shots from the arc and made a pair of free throws to help put Orlando on top, 81-62, with 1:37 to go.
Howard, who also had a career-high five assists, made seven free throws in the fourth quarter and recorded his 27th double-double of the season.
"I don't think it was my performance that won the game for us," Howard said. "Our guards really stepped up tonight and played tremendously. Hedo also stepped up in the first half and made some big shots."
Orlando made 2-of-16 shots in the fourth quarter but sank 16-of-20 free throws to defeat Charlotte for the third time in as many meetings.
"What was discouraging to me was our turnovers in the second half," Orlando coach Brian Hill said. "We felt like all we had to do was take care of the ball and keep moving the basketball and we'd be all right, but we got a little impatient."
Making his first start since his two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, Steve Francis scored 13 points for Orlando. Stevenson and Diener added 12 each.
"The most important thing tonight was that we won," Francis said. "I'm just going to stick with the role that they have me doing right now, which is getting everybody involved. It's more important to win regardless of how many points I might have."
Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace, the league leader in steals and field-goal percentage, sprained his left knee in the third quarter and did not return. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.
"I couldn't straighten or bend my leg when I went down," Wallace said. "It felt more like when players bump knees at first. Then the pain just started getting worse. After that, I just didn't even try to get up."
Wallace's injury is the latest medical problem to plague the Bobcats, who are also without starters Emeka Okafor and Kareem Rush. First-round pick Sean May underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday and will be out for up to eight weeks.
"I feel for (Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff) and his team," Hill said. "I know what it's like and they've just played with an incredible amount of injuries this year. It's hard to get any type of continuity. I think he and his staff are doing everything they possibly can."
Keith Bogans scored 13 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and Knight added 17 for the Bobcats, who have lost six in a row and 10 of 11.
"We're shorthanded right now," Bogans said. "So we're going to have to go up there and give it all we've got. It's going to be tough, but we're still fighting and we can't just roll over. Without Gerald, everyone is going to have to step up and play just a little bit harder."