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Orlando vs. Charlotte preview: Can the Magic avoid getting stung by the Hornets once again?

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The Magic have one more order of business to take care of before the All-Star break: (finally) Beat Charlotte

NBA: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

What else can be said, it’s been a great time to be a Magic fan.

The Orlando Magic are one of the hottest teams in the NBA, currently riding a four-game winning streak into play Thursday night. This is Orlando’s first winning-streak of four or more games since November 25th-December 23rd of 2015.

The Magic have won six of their last seven games, the latter three wins coming on the road. Tuesday night’s win in New Orleans resulted in a three-game sweep on the road trip, the first successful three-game road sweep for Orlando since ‘12.

Orlando hasn’t been just winning on the road lately, they’ve been dominating. The results collectively against the Bucks, Hawks, and Pelicans marked the first time in team history that the Magic won three-straight road games by 16 points or more. The 30-point drubbing of the Pelicans Tuesday night marked the first time the Magic have won by 30 or more points on the road since 2009 (in Sacramento).

What else can the Magic possibly do before the All-Star break to top how they’ve been playing over the last couple of weeks?

I don’t know, how about maybe beating the Charlotte Hornets?

Sounds easy enough, but for the Magic - well, the task has been impossible.

Orlando has dropped thirteen consecutive games to Charlotte, a streak that began over three years ago (January 22nd, 2016).

The Magic and Hornets have already played twice this season, with the Hornets scoring 120 points or more in both contests. The two clubs squared-off during the first week of the regular season back in October (in Orlando), and then again on New Year’s Eve in Charlotte.

In those two contests, the Hornets won with an average scoring margin of 28.5 points. U-G-L-Y.

However, the Magic now find themselves playing with greater purpose. The club has survived the trade deadline with the regular rotation intact, and the organization now sits just one game out of the eighth-seed in the Eastern Conference. With a win, the Magic can draw within one-game of the Hornets, who are currently positioned in seventh-place in the East.

“(Potentially beating Charlotte) would be extremely big for us and important, and we’re looking to get it done,’’ said Magic forward Jonathan Isaac. Isaac scored a career-high 20 points Tuesday night in New Orleans.

The Hornets, losers of three of their last four games, will be finishing off a four-game road-trip in Orlando on Thursday. The Hornets last played Monday night, dropping a 99-90 contest to the Indiana Pacers.

Two players in tonight’s game, Kemba Walker and Nikola Vucevic, will be head to Charlotte at the conclusion of the contest for the NBA’s All-Star Game, which will played on Sunday at 8:00 P.M.

“This has been our best stretch of the season and hopefully we can keep it up because we all feel the momentum,’’ Vucevic told John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com. “We have to stick with what we’ve been doing. We’ve had stretches where we’ve played great and stretches where we haven’t played so well, and we know that things can turn around quickly in this league and we have to stay focused.”


Check back later tonight for our official GameThread. Go Magic!