E'Twaun Moore and Kemba Walker - Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando was looking to build on its impressive offensive performance against Golden State Friday night, and was able to do so against struggling Charlotte. The Magic shot 50% or better in each quarter, as five players scored in double figures.
The game was much closer than the final score indicates, as Charlotte held a 93-92 lead with 4:08 remaining in the game after a Kemba Walker layup. The Magic, though, closed the game on a 15-5 run, which was keyed by point guard Jameer Nelson. In the final 90 seconds, Nelson hit two jumpers and dished to center Nik Vucevic, who finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds, for a nice dunk to help seal the game for the Magic. Nelson wound with 16 points, 6 assists, and just one turnover. He picked up his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter, but did not foul out.
This was a fast-paced game for both teams, with the Magic having difficulty with Charlotte's fast break. The Bobcats outscored the Magic 20-7 on fast break points. In particular, Orlando had difficulty with Bobcats' second-year point guard Kemba Walker. Walker did a terrific job leading the Bobcats on the break, and scored a career-high 32 points, along with 7 assists. Shooting guard Gerald Henderson scored 16 points, with Ramon Sessions coming off the bench to score 14 points.
The Magic outshot the Bobcats 54% to 46%, and outrebounded Charlotte 43-31.
Orlando did damage in the paint, outscoring Charlotte 60-54. Power forward Glen Davis was particularly impressive, playing maybe his most efficient game of the season. Davis scored 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting. He displayed an impressive variety of post moves, along with a few mid-range jumpers. He did not take any foolish long twos, as he is usually accustomed to do.
Though J.J. Redick struggled shooting the 3-pointer, his three with 2:52 remaining in the game put the Magic up 98-93, and was the Magic's fifth 3-pointer of the game. That's a key number, because the Magic are 10-4 this season when making 5 or more 3s. Redick finished with 14 points on 4 of 10 shooting, and 3 of 9 on 3s.
The Magic led after one quarter 29-21, as they shot 13 of 23. Davis, Nelson, and Arron Afflalo each had 7 points in the opening frame. The Magic continued to shoot well in the second quarter, shooting 11 of 21, to lead at the half 56-48. Nelson had 12 points to lead the Magic, with Davis scoring 11 points. Walker had 12 to lead Charlotte.
The Magic had their largest lead of the game, 60-49, a minute into the third quarter. The Bobcats, to their credit, came back strong on a 18-6 run to take the lead 67-66 with 5:17 remaining in the third. The Magic came back with a 15-8 run of their own, and led 81-77 going into the final quarter.
Charlotte shot just 5 of 17 in the final quarter, compared to 9 of 15 for the Magic, as the Magic outscored the Bobcats 26-21 for the 107-98 win.
Magic shooting guard Afflalo went down late in the fourth quarter after hitting his knee against teammate Davis while on defense, and was down for several minutes before going to the bench. He came back in the game though, and finished with 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting.
The Magic reserves combined to score 36 points. Along with Redick's 14, E'Twaun Moore scored 6 points along with 5 assists, Andrew Nicholson scored 8 points on 4 of 7 shooting, and Gustavo Ayon also scored 8 points along with 4 boards and 3 assists in just 14 minutes.
Starting small forward Moe Harkless blocked 4 shots for the second consecutive game.
By and large, Charlotte has been competitive in their 11 game losing streak, playing a difficult schedule, and coming within single digits in 7 of the 11 losses. Orlando showed a lot of energy throughout the game, despite playing the second game of a back-to-back, and were able to hold off the Bobcats' comeback attempts in the second half.