Paolo Banchero posted his eighth double-double of the year with 22 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five assists, Wendell Carter Jr. recorded his 13thdouble-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Markelle Fultz scored 16, as the Orlando Magic defeated the Charlotte Hornets 119-113 on Sunday afternoon to end their road trip 3-1.
For nearly four straight minutes down the stretch, the Hornets didn’t make a single floor shot. Also in that time, Mason Plumlee missed four free throws and JT Thor missed three. Since Dec. 7, with the Magic 17-12 in this span, Orlando has the league’s 10th best fourth-quarter defensive rating.
After the Hornets pulled within two near the halfway point of the third quarter, the Magic reclaimed momentum with nine unanswered points. Carter started the run with an alley-oop dunk off a Franz Wagner lob; Fultz followed with a layup; Banchero converted on an AND-1; and a Fultz dunk completed the stretch.
The Magic controlled the glass, which was a key emphasis coming into the game. They outrebounded Charlotte 52-39. They also outscored the Hornets by six in the paint and made 16 more free throws.
In the News
The NBA announced on Saturday night that Mo Bamba was suspended for four games and Jalen Suggs one for their roles in the scuffle that took place late in the third quarter of Friday’s game in Minnesota. Austin Rivers of the Timberwolves was suspended for three games.
Chuma Okeke (left knee injury recovery) was out for the Magic. Cody Martin (knee) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (hand) were unavailable for the Hornets.
Quote of the Day
"People talk about us being young all the time but I don’t think that means anything. I think we've gotten to the court, people recognize us, and we're on people’s radars right now. They’re like, 'oh, the Orlando Magic are young but they’re alright,' and so for us, man, we just stay the course, keep crawling our way through the league trying to get wins, taking it one game at a time and we're going to be alright." – Cole Anthony
This Day in History
There were several all-time great centers in the NBA in the 90s. Shaquille O’Neal and Patrick Ewing were two of them. They had an epic duel on Feb. 5, 1995, as O’Neal posted 41 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Magic to a thrilling victory over the Knicks. Ewing finished with 38 points and 13 rebounds for New York, while John Starks scored 21.
Many thought the Hornets were a team on the rise with them making the play-in tournament each of the last two seasons. But they have not taken that next step as many anticipated. It will be interesting to see what they do, if anything, at the trade deadline. They have a few veterans that contenders would probably love to have. It’s just a matter of whether Charlotte wants to hit the reset button completely.
The Magic start a three-game homestand on Tuesday when the New York Knicks come to town for a 7 p.m. tipoff. This will be the second of three meetings between the two squads this season. New York won the first one on Oct. 24 at Madison Square Garden. Julius Randle, recently named an All-Star for the second time in his career, led the Knicks in that contest with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Banchero scored 21 points for the Magic, while Bol Bol had 19 points.