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Apr 5, 2024 9:45 pm

Brandon Miller’s sharp shooing helps Hornets top Magic

Magic, Hornets

Rookie Brandon Miller didn’t miss a shot in the first half and finished with 32 points as the Charlotte Hornets pulled off a rare victory, beating the visiting Orlando Magic 124-115 on Friday night.

Miller had 19 points in the first quarter on 7-for-7 shooting with four 3-pointers. His dunk was the first shot of the second quarter as he scored 26 first-half points on 10-for-10 shooting. He finished 11-for-13 from the floor and 5-on-5 on free throws.

Charlotte (19-58) won for the second time in its past 11 games. Miles Bridges scored 23 points and Grant Williams poured in 18 points. Vasilije Micic supplied 14 points and nine assists and reserve Davis Bertans ended up with 12 points.

Paolo Banchero led the Magic with 32 points and Franz Wagner posted 22 points. Markelle Fultz provided 15 points off the bench and Wendell Carter Jr. added 13 points for the Magic (45-32), who were unable to complete a four-game season series sweep of Charlotte.

The outcome came just two days after the Hornets announced coach Steve Clifford will step down as coach at the end of the season and reportedly is expected to move into a front office role.

Charlotte, which made all 23 of its free-throw attempts in the game and shot 59.7 percent from the floor, had a huge first quarter and led by as many as 18 points. Orlando, which had won three in a row coming into the game, looked ready to make a comeback several times, but the Hornets kept finding answers.

With the Hornets leading by four points, Bertans drained a 3-pointer to push their lead to 101-94. Williams scored the next five points and Bertans added a layup as Charlotte led 108-94. Miller had only two points in the second half until his basket with 2:34 left gave the Hornets a 117-106 lead.

Earlier, the Magic pulled within eight in the second quarter before the Hornets pushed the lead to 67-52 by halftime. Charlotte shot 67.6 percent from the floor in the first half.

The Hornets broke out to a 16-5 lead less than four minutes into the game.

–Field Level Media

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