Seven Orlando Magic players scored in double-figures Wednesday as they topped the Charlotte Bobcats, 92-83, in a competitive, but by no means pretty, contest at Time Warner Cable Arena. The teams combined to shoot 39.7 percent from the floor and to commit 25 turnovers.
Glen Davis tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. In his return to the lineup after a four-game injury absence, Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and 14 rebounds of his own. E'Twaun Moore and Andrew Nicholson scored 10 apiece for the Magic off the bench.
Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 12 points. Orlando's victory ended Charlotte's two-game winning streak.
Were it not for Moore, Orlando would have been utterly lost in the first half. The combo guard led the Magic with 10 points in 15 minutes before intermission, hitting each of his first four shots before finishing the half 5-of-8. Moore had no problem getting into the paint, even against Charlotte's third-ranked defense, and he managed to finish at the rim with relative ease... except for the late first-half possession in which Tyler Zeller rejected him from behind in delayed transition.
Moore lifted an anemic Magic offense which generally struggled with the Bobcats' activity and engagement on that end: Kemba Walker's springiness allowed him to block three shots in the first quarter alone, and he picked up three steals as well. Orlando's starting backcourt of Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo missed 14 of its 17 first-half shot attempts.
But Orlando led by a single point after the opening 24 minutes due to its work on the glass: with Vucevic back in the lineup, Orlando held a 29-19 rebounding advantage, with Vucevic accounting for 11 of those caroms, including four on the offensive end. Davis' long two-pointer at the horn put Orlando up one.
And Charlotte, for all its strengths as a defensive team, is maligned offensively. The Bobcats shot 37.5 percent in the first half and committed seven turnovers. Were it not for Zeller's surprisingly effective stint--he shot 4-of-4 for eight points in eight minutes--then Charlotte would have struggled even more than it did.
Victor Oladipo opened the second half with three consecutive field goals--a driving layup, followed by back-to-back pull-up deuces--to push Orlando's lead to seven, prompting Bobcats coach Steve Clifford to call timeout. Charlotte responded to Oladipo's personal run, going on a 9-2 spree of its own to tie the score at 51 less than four minutes later.
But Orlando built a five-point lead at the end of the period on the strength of its three-point shooting: after going 0-of-8 from beyond the arc in the first half, the Magic shot 4-of-5 on treys in the third period. Davis' left-corner three with five seconds left in the quarter yielded the final margin.
A triple from Nicholson put Orlando up nine, its largest margin of the night, with 8:38 to play. Charlotte scored five unanaswered points in the next 92 seconds to get back to within four of the visitors. Nelson scored a driving layup after a 20-second timeout to stop the run and put Orlando back up by six.
Consecutive off-the-dribble, step-back jumpers from Afflalo--with Nelson sitting, Orlando's best one-on-one shot creator--put Orlando up by eight with 4:28 to go. After a putback by Josh McRoberts, Davis returned at the next dead ball and put Orlando back up by eight with a difficult hook shot.
Charlotte played great defense on these possessions, but the Magic scored anyway with a little bit of luck. The Bobcats drew to within four again, but would draw no closer. Nelson hit a crucial--and irresponsibly deep--trey to put Orlando up seven with 1:06 to play. After two Walker free throws, Nelson got his shoulders by the Connecticut product and scored an easy layup with 42 seconds left. Clifford called another timeout to set up Henderson for a three-pointer, but it completely missed the iron and instead clanked hard off the glass.