After suffering another loss by the Atlanta Hawks’ balanced attack, the Orlando Magic would suffer the same fate at the hands of Mo Williams and the Charlotte Hornets, thanks to a big third quarter in which they only missed five of their first 17 attempts.
The first half of the game seemed to go about as well as expected for two teams who rank in the bottom half of the league offensively. Although the Hornets managed to take a 28-22 lead in the first quarter, the offense all but disappeared in the second, as they only managed to score 15 points in the second period. The Magic couldn’t get much going offensively in the first half, but thanks to taking good care of the ball (1 turnover in the first half) the Magic were able to take a brief lead in the final seconds, but quickly saw Charlotte hit a buzzer beater in what would be a foreshadowing of things to come.
In the third quarter, things got out of hand for the Magic. Their struggles on both ends of the floor early on in the quarter dug them into a deep hole as the Hornets went on an offensive explosion. Connecting on 12 of their first 17 attempts, the Hornets were able to push their lead to as many as 15 before a mini run by the Magic nearly dissolved the double-digit deficit to as few as nine heading into the fourth.
There, the Magic continued to claw their way back into the game, coming within just four points of the Hornets. However, their struggles offensively caught back up with the Magic. After the Hornets went up 82-70, the Magic managed to get within nine, Mo Williams landed a back-breaking three-pointer to push the lead back up to 12. Willie Green would hit another three to keep a glimmer of hope alive, but Gerald Henderson, Al Jefferson, and Mo Williams put the Magic to bed for good.
Three players for the Hornets had a double-double. Mo Williams led with 23 points and 11 assists. Al Jefferson had 16 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist who had 11 points and 13 rebounds. Gerald Henderson had 16, while Cody Zeller also finished with 16.
Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 21 points on the night. Tobias Harris had 13 points, while both Willie Green and Andrew Nicholson had 11 points each off the bench. Nikola Vucevic finished with 10 points