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Magic vs. Hornets GameThread

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The Magic take on the familiar Southeast Division foes at home for their third game in the series.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

This Charlotte Hornets team has been consistent with its core over the past few season, and while the results have varied wildly, one thing has remained constant: they have beaten the Orlando Magic.

The Hornets have found a way to win nine-straight against the Magic, with Orlando's last win coming on Dec. 16 of 2015. Many of the games haven't been particularly close, thanks in part to one man: Kemba Walker. Walker has averaged 20.5 points and 6.6 assists per game against the Magic, and he has made seemingly every clutch play when these games hang in the balance.

Though the Magic are 0-2 versus the current Hornets team, this is certainly their weakest iteration in years. The Hornets are 23-33 and have lost four-straight games, so they'll be looking to find a bost against the Magic in their last game before All-Star break.

Kemba is formidable, but the team has been vulnerable when he's off the floor. They have struggled to find a secondary playmaker off the bench, and Nicolas Batum has been a muted version of himself due to injury.

Though the Hornets struggle on defense, giving up the fourth-worst field goal percentage in the league, they are phenomenal at getting to the line and rebounding, two things the Magic struggle with. This is thanks in large part to former Magic All-Star Dwight Howard, who is averaging 12.6 boards a game.

To win this one, the Magic will need to practice good fundamentals in boxing out, not getting cheap fouls and sticking to their defensive scheme. If Orlando can play disciplined, this is a very winnable game.

Line: CHA -6

Injuries:

Orlando — Aaron Gordon (Hip) – OUT; Jonathan Isaac (Ankle) – OUT; Terrence Ross (MCL) – OUT; Nikola Vucevic (Hand) – OUT

Charlotte — None