Coming into the game, Charlotte was off to one of the worst starts in NBA history at 4-32, and had lost 21 of their last 22 games. To make matters worse for the Bobcats, they were 0-6 on Tuesdays, 0-8 against the SE Division, 0-18 against winning teams, and 0-23 when trying to revenge a loss to an opponent. Things continued to look terrible for the Bobcats in the second quarter, as they trailed the Magic 39-19 with 9:22 left and head coach Paul Silas was ejected from the game with 3:50 remaining in the first half. So, easy win for the Magic, right? Guess again.
The Magic completely collapsed offensively and defensively in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter as they shot 5 of 21, and as a result, suffered one of the most embarrassing losses in franchise history 100-84, as Charlotte outscored the Magic 81-45 after trailing 39-19. How the heck could this have happened? More after the jump.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
|Green denotes a stat better than the team's season average;
red denotes a stat worse than the team's season average.
No starter on the Magic shot 50% from the field. In fact, other than Howard, the other Magic starters combined to shoot a miserable 13 of 43 (30.2%). Ryan Anderson scored 15 points, but shot just 5 of 15, including 2 of 10 on threes. Hedo Turkoglu had an awful stat line of 6 points on 2 of 10 shooting, 1 assist, 1 rebound, and 4 turnovers in 28 minutes. J.J. Redick added 14 points off the bench along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Magic had no answer for Bobcats SF Corey Maggette, scorching his former team with 29 points on 9 of 17 shooting and hit 10 of 11 free throws. SG Gerald Henderson was also key for Charlotte, scoring 16 points. Rookie guard Kemba Walker added 10 points off the bench. Reserve center Byron Mullens was also effective, scoring 8 points along with 13 rebounds.
The Magic led 48-31 after a Howard free throw with 3:01 remaining in the first half. The Magic would not score again until the 9:11 mark of the third quarter, a 5:50 stretch without scoring a point. The Bobcats outscored the Magic 20-0 in that span to take the lead 51-48. The rest of the third was very close, with neither team holding more than a three point lead as the Bobcats led 72-71 going into the fourth quarter.
The 'Cats went ahead by 77-71 early in the fourth after an Eduardo Najera three pointer. The Magic scored 8 points in a row, with Redick and reserve Chris Duhon each making three-pointers as the Magic took their last lead of the game 79-77 with 9:11 remaining. From then on, the Magic would be outscored 23-5 to end the game, as they made only 2 of their final 16 shots, including missing their remaining 9 three point attempts.
Things will get much tougher for the Magic in the coming two weeks, so they better figure out a way to turn things around, and quickly. They play Chicago twice, Miami twice, Indiana, and at San Antonio in that span. The Magic get a day off before playing at Chicago, which has the best record in the league at 32-8 and reigning MVP Derrick Rose. Chicago will not feel sorry for the Magic, that's for sure.
Other game notes:
-For the game, Charlotte outshot the Magic 47.5% to 38.8% from the field, 40% to 37.1% on three pointers, and 74.1% to 52.9% on free throws. The Bobcats also outrebounded the Magic 46-41, and had a better assist/turnover ratio of 25/12 to 18/18 for the Magic.
-Charlotte shot just 6 of 24 in the first period, as the Magic led 25-15 going into the second.
-After the first quarter, the Bobcats shot 32 of 56 (57.1%) and scored 85 points in the final three quarters to 59 points for the Magic.
-The Magic were outscored 28-13 in the fourth quarter, shooting 5 of 21 (23.8%) from the field and 2 of 11 on threes.
-Charlotte outscored the Magic 68-36 on two point field goals and 20-9 from the free throw line.
-This was only the fifth time all season Charlotte reached 100 points.
-Magic reserve F Quentin Richardson played for the first time in 5 games after nursing a sore right achilles, and scored 8 points on 3 of 4 shooting.
Here is the game box score.