Magic Roll Past Hornets For Another Winning Road Trip

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Paolo Banchero erupted for 31 points for his fifth 30-plus-point performance this season, Cole Anthony scored 16 points, and Jalen Suggs had 15, as the Magic held off the Charlotte Hornets for a 117-106 victory on Friday night at the Spectrum Center.  

Interesting Fact

The Magic have now won at least two games on four straight road trips of three or more games. They won in Boston twice and in Houston on a four-game trip in December, won in Golden State and Portland during their January West Coast trip, won in Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Charlotte during a four-game voyage a couple weeks later, and on this most recent trip, won in New Orleans and Charlotte. 

Clutch Moments

After the Hornets cut a 24-point deficit down to seven late in the fourth quarter, Markelle Fultz and Gary Harris each connected on driving shots on back-to-back possessions to push Orlando’s lead back to double digits. 

Side Note

Franz Wagner sprained his left ankle while trying to scoop up a loose ball near the Magic’s basket with 7:26 left in the second quarter. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game shortly after. 

Key Stretch

A five-point Magic lead with less than a minute gone by in the second quarter ballooned to a 15-point lead not even halfway through the period. During that 14-4 Orlando run, Moe Wagner had two dunks and a layup, Banchero knocked down a mid-range jumper, and Anthony connected on a floater. 

Key Stats

The Magic outscored the Hornets 64-52 in the paint and they outrebounded them 42-34. Charlotte, one of the league’s worst 3-point shooting teams, made just nine threes. The Magic’s reserves outscored the Hornets bench 47-23. 

In the News

Jonathan Isaac will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on Friday to repair a torn left adductor muscle. An MRI conducted Wednesday revealed the injury, after he felt discomfort following Tuesday’s practice in Milwaukee. The 6-foot-11, 230-pounder had returned in late January after missing the prior 2 ½ years with a left knee ACL tear. In 11 games this season, he averaged 5.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 11.3 minutes per contest. 

Injury Report

Isaac was the only player out for the Magic with an injury going into the game. Franz Wagner, as detailed above, sprained his left ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return. Two-way contract player Kevon Harris was inactive. For Charlotte, P.J. Washington (right foot strain) LaMelo Ball (right ankle surgery), Cody Martin (left knee soreness), James Bouknight (G League Assignment), and Theo Maledon (G League Two-Way) were unavailable. 

Quote of the Day

“Since we’ve gotten here, you watched a young man work his tail off to get back on the floor. And my heart hurts for him and our prayers are going to continue to go out that he continues a healthy, speedy recovery. But more importantly that he understands how much he’s supported with this organization, the coaches, the players, and the front office – how much we care about where he is right now. I think that’s the biggest thing – that he understands that we understand that for him. The thing about him is that he is a resilient, faithful, (and) strong young man that will bounce back to work to get himself back on the court.” – Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley on Isaac

This Day in History

One of the Magic’s biggest and most impressive comebacks in franchise history occurred on March 3, 2011 when they rallied back from 24 down in the second half to defeat the Heat in Miami. Jason Richardson scored 11 of his 24 points during a 40-9 Magic run. LeBron James, then in his first season in Miami, led the Heat with 29 points, while Dwyane Wade scored 28.  

Rivals Report

Charlotte has been a strange team to analyze all year because despite doing several things well – such as limit turnovers, rebound, and score on the break – they have the league’s fourth worst record and rank last in offensive efficiency. Their biggest problem, without a doubt, has been their 3-point shooting. They rank 29th in 3-point percentage. Defensively, they’ve struggled defending the paint. Opponents are averaging nearly 52 points in the paint against them. 

Up Next

The Magic start a four-game homestand on Sunday when they host the Portland Trail Blazers at 6 p.m. Orlando won the first meeting in Portland on Jan. 10 behind 29 points from Franz Wagner, 20 from Wendell Carter Jr., 19 from Banchero, and 18 from Fultz. Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 30 points, while Jusuf Nurkic had 22. Portland missed three potential game-tying 3-point attempts on its final possession.