Surging Hornets top slumping Magic

Terry Rozier scored 27 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. contributed 21 points off the bench on Wednesday as the Charlotte Hornets earned their seventh win in eight games, defeating the host Orlando Magic 106-99.

Charlotte trailed 74-67 in the third quarter, but Oubre Jr. scored seven points to highlight the Hornets’ 15-0 run. Cody Martin’s dunk gave the Hornets an 82-74 lead with 20.1 seconds to go in the period, but Moritz Wagner hit a 3-pointer to pull the Magic within 82-77 entering the fourth quarter.

The Hornets opened the fourth with a 14-7 burst as LaMelo Ball sank a long-3-pointer from the top of the key against Orlando’s zone. Ball then assisted on Jalen McDaniels’ one-handed dunk in transition with 4:43 remaining for a 96-84 lead.

Ball scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including a floater in the lane with under one minute left and the shot clock running down. He finished with four 3-pointers, four rebounds and four assists.

Rozier’s performance also included a career-high six steals and five assists.

Miles Bridges contributed 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists as Charlotte improved to 2-0 this season against its Southeast Division rival. P.J. Washington returned to the Charlotte lineup after missing the previous 10 games because of a hyperextended left elbow and had one rebound and no points in six minutes.

Orlando, which debuted its new orange-themed Nike NBA City Edition uniform, lost its fourth consecutive game and fell for the seventh time in eight outings. The Magic also saw their home record fall to 1-7.

Mo Bamba had 18 points and 12 rebounds while leading six Orlando scorers in double figures. Jalen Suggs followed with 17 points and Franz Wagner added 16 points for the Magic, who shot 15-for-42 (35.7 percent) from 3-point range.

Wendell Carter Jr. (14 points, 11 rebounds) posted his first double-double since Nov. 7. Gary Harris added 13 points for Orlando, while Moritz Wagner knocked down three treys and had 13 points off the bench.

The Magic played their third consecutive game without leading scorer Cole Anthony, who remains sidelined with a sprained right ankle, while Harris (hand) was back in the lineup after sitting out against Milwaukee on Monday. Terrence Ross, one of Orlando’s top bench players, did not play on Wednesday due to back spasms.


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