ORLANDO, FL. – The ORLANDO MAGIC (4 – 15 ) lost to the Charlotte Hornets (12 – 8 ) 106-99 last night at the Amway Center.
They really had a chance at this one, but that can be said about a bunch of games so far this season, but being a young team, mistakes can cost you games.
Terry Rozier must have seen this game and wicked his chops because it was like another game on the playground for him. Rozier scored a game high 27 points on steals, often flexing and grunting on his way back down the court at the Magic bench.
With point guard Cole Anthony still nursing a sprained ankle, and veteran Terrance Ross a game time scratch with back spasms, point guard duties rested on the shoulders of rookie Jalen Suggs.
Suggs, who’s skill is evident, is still a rookie and makes some rookie mistakes, but you can definitely see him growing through the trial by fire as Anthony did last season.
Suggs put in a respectable night, with 17 points and six assists, but had 5 turnovers in the game.
The Magic as a whole gave up 15 turnovers, leading to 11 Hornets points, which more than covered the difference in the score.
Charlotte, ending a 3-game road trip, come off of a buzzer-beater win by Tarry Rozier against the Washington Wizards, got solid play from LaMelo Ball ( 22 points), Kelley Oubre Jr ( 21 points), as well as Miles Bridges, always a possible sports center highlight away ( 11 points, 9 rebounds.
One thing that is evident is that there was a balance in the Magic’s scoring, with all five starters scoring in double digits, Mo Bamba and Gary Harris scoring double doubles, and Mo Wagner also scored 11 points.
“I love our player’s fight. They did not quit.” Said Magic Head Coach Jamal Mosely. “We talk about growth and we talk about getting better. These are great tests for our young guards. You have Dru Holiday one night and Terry Rozier the second night. You have to understand what we need to do to take care of that basketball.”
The Magic were even with the Hornets for most of the game. A 15-0 run in the third quarter put them under pressure but they did managed. ti battle back.
The Hornets managed to extend the gap in the fourth quarter, putting together multiple alley-oops to Bridges with some of their 21 fast break points.
The Magic were equally acrobatics, with Wendell Carter Jr driving the lane and thundering a dunk over Code Martin, who was going to the charge, one of many dunks by Carter in the game.
At one point, LeMelo Ball drove for a score and tried to be creative, but came up short on a reverse dunk, to the joy of Magic fans.
The Magic return to the floor on Friday, casing Nikola Vucevic and friends from the Chicago Bulls.