CHARLOTTE – The Hornets have dominated the Orlando Magic for the past few years, beating them 13 straight times. This dates all the way back to the 22nd of January in 2016.
Last night Orlando flipped the script and ran the show against the Hornets en route to a convincing, much needed victory.
Orlando was coming off a bad loss to the Golden State Warriors and had a slow start to this game only putting up 19 points in the first quarter. Given the low scoring first quarter, the Magic didn’t come out flat as articulated by Coach Clifford. “I thought we actually had good energy early. The ball didn’t go in the basket, you know end of the first quarter struggled to score.”
Fortunately for the Magic, this didn’t last long as notably, they enforced their will in the 2nd and 4th quarters.
The Magic outscored the Hornets a combined 66-36 between the 2 quarters which proved to be the difference in the game.
“I love the way we played and I thought in the second half, that might be as good a twenty-four minutes as we played so far”, said Coach Clifford.
Everything went right for the Magic in this one. They were lights out from beyond the arc, shooting 50%, connecting on 14 of their 28 three-point attempts. They were plus 8 on total rebounds, plus 4 in assists, plus 5 in steals, plus 9 in turnovers and outscored Charlotte in the paint 52-38. This all culminated in a 23-point victory for Orlando.
“That was one of our best wins cause of our approach – Coming off a poor performance, fly across the country at five o’clock, could’ve had excuses, our attitude was great and it set the whole thing up.”
Nikola Vucevic finished the night with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds while adding 4 assists.
Terrence Ross was once again crucial off the bench for the Magic, pouring in an efficient 19 points and 5 threes in the first half alone. “I mean everybody you know, is telling me to keep shooting. When everybody starts looking for me, I’m that much more confident when I’m shooting. I mean, just try to provide a spark any way I can”, said Ross on his role.
Evan Fournier was another key cog in this victory as he logged 26 points on 10-14 shooting and he had this to say on Ross, “T Ross [Terrence Ross] is so tricky. Once you get it going, it’s like every time he shoots it, you know it’s in. – And the other team usually overreacts to that, they over close out on him, which you know, opens drives and slips for bigs and you know we just play off it.”
With this win, the Magic finish their 6-game road trip 3-3 and look to protect home court against the Oklahoma City Thunder coming this Wednesday.