Magic's Ball Movement Exceptional Against Hornets

by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO – Only 14 Orlando Magic players have dished out at least 14 assists in a game in franchise history.

That now includes 6-foot-3, 209-pound point guard Markelle Fultz, who accumulated a career-best 14 dimes during Monday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets.

It was the first time a Magic player had at least this many assists since Elfrid Payton racked up 15 of them on March 31, 2017 against the Boston Celtics.

Fultz’s Orlando teammates also did a great job sharing the ball. The Magic finished with a season-best 35 assists. It was just the second time this season Orlando amassed 30 or more of them.

When the Magic get into the paint, which they did often on Monday, they generate good looks, particularly from beyond the 3-point line. No pass type in today’s era is more significant than the kick-out pass, which is typically how NBA teams get clean attempts from 3-point range.

Orlando knocked down 16 of its 34 3-point tries. The only time the Magic made more threes in a game this season was on Dec. 15 when they buried 17 of them against the New Orleans Pelicans.

While shooting has been a big problem for the Magic this season, getting into the paint has not been. Currently, Orlando ranks No. 4 in the league in paint touches per game, behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. However, the Magic rank last in field goal percentage (54.4 percent) when the ball gets into the paint. Last season, Orlando ranked No. 12 in paint touches, but shot nearly 63 percent on those plays.

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