CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 5, 2023) —— The Orlando Magic, led by a strong performances from Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr., outlasted the Charlotte Hornets for a thrilling 119-113 victory at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC.
Banchero and Carter Jr. Shine for the Magic
Banchero had a standout performance for the Magic on the road, scoring 22 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Wendell Carter Jr. also made a significant impact, adding a double-double with 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, while the duo made some key buckets in the latter part of the game.
LaMelo Ball Leads the Way for the Hornets
Despite the loss, the Hornets were led by a fantastic performance from LaMelo Ball. The standout guard put up 33 points, including 26 points in the second half, and hit six 3-pointers. He also contributed 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals in a strong effort.
Terry Rozier also had a solid performance for Charlotte, scoring 21 of his 24 points in the first half, while Dennis Smith Jr. came off the bench to add 14 points and made 5 of his 8 shots from the field.
Magic Respond to Strong Start from the Hornets
The Hornets started the game with a strong first quarter, jumping out to a 37-28 lead after hitting four 3-pointers and shooting 66.7% from the field.
However, the Magic responded with a strong second quarter and took a 62-58 lead into halftime. The Magic continued to perform well in the second half, using a balanced effort to hold off the Hornets for the victory.
Game Features 19 Lead Changes and 4 Ties
The game was tied four times and saw 19 lead changes, with the Magic leading by as many as 12 points at 61-73 with 9:28 left in the third quarter.
The Hornets attempted a comeback, cutting the deficit to 91-90 early in the fourth quarter and tying the game at 97 with 7:51 left.
However, Banchero and Carter Jr. stepped up to lead the Florida franchise to the win that saw the team already matched the total of victories from last season after going 22-60 in the 2021-22 season.
Markelle Fultz and Frank Wagner also put in strong performances for Orlando, contributing 16 points and 14 points, respectively.
Fultz shot a remarkable 8 of 13 from the field, while Wagner chipped in with 6 rebounds, while the Magic’s bench outscored the Hornets 39-28.
The Hornets, who have now lost four games in a row, made just one of nine free throws in the fourth quarter and were 11 of 23 overall on a struggling night.
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The Magic dominated the paint, outscoring the Hornets 62-56, and dominated second chance points, with 20 compared to the Hornets’ 9.
Magic Wrap Up Road Trip with 3-1 Record
The victory marked the end of a successful road trip for the Magic, who finished with a 3-1 record and had wins at Philadelphia and Minnesota.
”It shows our resilience and that we can go out and compete with some of the best teams in the league,” said Carter about the Magic’s four-game road trip.
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