By John Denton
March 27, 2013
For the short-handed Orlando Magic, eight was great most of Wednesday night, but not nearly enough down the stretch in Charlotte.
Orlando raced to an early 19-point lead and clung to a seven-point lead midway through the fourth period, but too much Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson did in the injury-ravaged Magic late in a 114-108 loss to the Bobcats.
Orlando (18-54) had just eight players available because head coach Jacque Vaughn chose not to play veterans Al Harrington and Hedo Turkoglu, and it nearly had enough firepower to pull off the victory. However, Charlotte (17-54) got 34 points each from Henderson and Walker and outscored the Magic 22-9 over the final eight minutes of the game.
``I was a little concerned about (fatigue) and there were a few stretches where I played guys 12 minutes straight,’’ Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``I rode Tobias (Harris) for a continuous amount of time and that’s tough. But we needed a heightened focus to fight fatigue and use our minds to fight through the fatigue.’’
The Magic shot 52.4 percent from the floor, had 33 assists and turned the ball over just 10 times. But they were mostly defenseless against Henderson (12 of 18) and Walker (13 of 23), who combined for 68 points, three 3-pointers and 15 free throws.
In four games against the Magic this season, Walker has scored 32, 25, 24 and 34 points for an average of 28.7 points per game.
Orlando, which was without two starters from recent injuries and four starters from Opening Night back in November, lost its eighth straight game. It should be noted that Charlotte was playing for the first time since a Sunday loss to Miami, while Orlando had four players go for 40-plus minutes.
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