ORLANDO – Charlotte’s only made 3-pointer of Thursday – one that followed 16 consecutive misses from beyond the arc – came at just the right time for the Hornets to spoil a stirring, fourth-quarter rally by the Orlando Magic.
Up just one point in the final minute after the Magic had wiped out much of a 16-point deficit, Charlotte used a clutch 3-point shot from forward Johnny O’Bryant III to outlast Orlando 86-78 in final-day play of the Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League.
Charlotte (3-2) missed all 11 of its 3-point tries in the first half and it sat at a dismal zero-for-16 before O’Bryant’s pick-and-pop 3-pointer from straight on.
O’Bryant finished the game with 23 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes. Shooting guard Dwayne Bacon, a product of Florida State University, scored a game-high 29 points by making seven of 11 shots and all seven of his free throws. The Hornets, who finished fifth in the eight-team field, had just six assists for the game and won despite shooting only 42.5 percent from the floor.
``It was an ugly game. The one three that we made, Johnny made the three from the top of the key to (keep) the lead,’’ Charlotte coach Stephen Silas said. ``It was an ugly game, but I was happy with how guys fought. You play all of these games in a short period of time and guys bodies are hurting and they could have easily let go of the rope, but they didn’t.’’
Orlando (2-3) got doubled-up (20-10) in the second quarter, fell behind by as much as 16 points in the third and started the fourth trailing by 10 before mounting a rally.
The Magic, who were once again without prized rookie Jonathan Isaac (left hip strain), drew even at 69, but they didn’t have much left down the stretch and were eventually done in by O’Bryant’s game-sealing 3-pointer.
``We had a great week with this group of guys and (Magic scout) Anthony Parker had a lot to do with putting this group together for us and it was a great group to have,’’ Magic coach Chad Forcier said. ``We would have loved to end up today with a win and end up with a winning record, but we just loved the group. Everybody bought into what we wanted them to do. They played hard all week, they played together all week and they got smarter as the week went along.’’
Przemek Karnowski, a standout this past season on Gonzaga’s Final Four squad, scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and also chipped in three assists, two steals and a block in 25 minutes off the bench. The 7-foot-1, 300-pound Karnowski started the week by playing two summer-league games with Charlotte, but he switched to Orlando on Wednesday after the Magic waived struggling center Stephen Zimmerman and was short on big men.
Shooting guard Marcus Georges-Hunt, who spent the last month of the regular season with the Magic’s NBA squad, wrapped up a stellar week with 18 points, five rebounds and three assists. Georges-Hunt averaged 14 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 50 percent from the floor (20 of 40) and 42.9 percent from 3-point range (six of 14) and playing four positions at various times.
Josh Gray had 14 points, four assists and three steals off the bench for the Magic. Starter Kalin Lucas (eight points, zero assists, five turnovers) struggled a day after playing well against New York. Reserve point guard Derrick Walton Jr., a standout early in the week, did not play in the finale. Walton Jr., a University of Michigan product who averaged 10 points and 3.5 assists in four games this week while shooting 46.9 percent from the floor (15 of 32) and 50 percent from three (six of 12), said he is considering heading to Las Vegas to play in another summer-league session if he can’t secure a training camp invite from the Magic.
Briante Weber was a ball hawk at point guard for the Hornets, notching four steals to go along with his 16 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Game recap courtesy of OrlandoMagic.com