ORLANDO, FL – On a night where history was made, the Orlando Magic got some payback by beating the Charlotte Hornets 117-108 on Monday night at The Amway Canter.
The history was that this was the first NBA game to be refereed by a crew including two women. Natalie Sago and Jenna Schroeder have made NBA history as the first female referees to work on the same court. Sean Wright rounded out the crew.
“It’s difficult to get to be an official in the NBA.” Said Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford “You have to go through a lot of levels. Like Vice President Harris, she workoed her way up to the top and both Jenna and Natalie did too. I think It’s a great thing for the league.”
As for the game, the Orland Magic started the game pretty much like they started the fourth quarter on Sunday, which cost them the game. 4 turnovers, they were outscored 30-19, and shot only 25% in field goals.
But Orlando turned it around in the second quarter by digging in better on defense, which stared to open up their offense. Shots started to drop, and their energy was up. The Magic managed to hit 19 three-point shots during the game.
The energy component has been pushed up by rookie point guard Cole Anthony. Cole scored a career high 21 points on Monday, including 4 for 5 from three point range.
As for the Magic, Nikola Vucevic scored 28 points and added 12 rebounds for a double-double, Anthony had his 21, and Evan Fournier put in 19.
Another notable addition was the return of Aaron Gordon, who missed Sunday’s game because of hip and back soreness. Gordon played in sorter spurts in the game, but manage a double-double as well with 12 points and 11 rebounds and was a face in the paint.
Charlotte was lead by Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier with 24 points each, followed by Devante Graham with 21.
LaMelo Ball once again came off the bench and managed to score 9 points with 4 assists.
Hayward had to deal with tighter spaces as the Magic definitely made it a point to keep him covered and making it difficult for him to get open shots.
The Magic did manage to outbound Charlotte 49-40, but the 18 turnover for Orland is troubling.
Anthony managed to get a flagrant foul 2 called on him with 1:55 left in the 4th quarter when he lowered his shoulder into Terry Rozier as he charged down the court to cover Anthony.
Orlando next faces the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday January 27th at The Amway Center.