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Mar 18, 2024 5:18 pm

Magic shoot to beat Hornets for third time this season

charlotte hornets orlando magic

The Orlando Magic have been on the move recently and there’s no reason to stop now.

The Charlotte Hornets will visit on Tuesday night, and the Magic’s bid to reach the postseason might depend on taking care of business against teams in the lower part of the standings.

“Every game is not going to be high-flying,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “Our guys are finding ways to win, and I think that’s important in this league that even when the games aren’t pretty, you find a way to win.”

Orlando (40-28) has won eight of its last 10 games, including a 101-89 victory against Charlotte (17-51) in that stretch. The Magic hold a 2-0 record this season against the Hornets with two meetings remaining.

The Magic completed a home-and-home sweep of the Toronto Raptors with Sunday night’s 111-96 victory in Orlando.

Paolo Banchero has led Orlando in scoring in seven of the last nine games. He has hit the 29-point mark in three of those efforts.

“His ability to be aggressive the right way is exactly what we’re asking him to do,” Mosley said.

That’s just part of what’s going right for the Magic.

“Making sure we’re doing it at the defensive end first and then continue to share the basketball,” Mosley said.

The Hornets fell to 2-7 this month with Saturday’s 109-98 setback at Philadelphia. It was the fifth consecutive loss in which Charlotte failed to score more than 100 points. The Hornets are counting on a committee approach at the offensive end without a clear-cut go-to player on a regular basis.

“When we move the ball, guys are going to score,” coach Steve Clifford said. “And we have to move the ball.”

The Hornets played the second half Saturday without rookie standout Brandon Miller, who was assessed a flagrant foul 2 that resulted in an early departure. That seemed to be a snag for an offense that already had been inconsistent as Miller had 20 or more points in 15 of his previous 29 games.

“We got ourselves back into the game,” Clifford said. “We had about three minutes there where the ball didn’t hit the paint, took a lot of OK shots, didn’t put a lot of pressure on the defense, and that was the stretch where we got behind.”

Point guard Tre Mann matched his season high with 21 points against the 76ers. He led Charlotte in scoring for the first time, another development in what has become a months-long fill-in role for injured LaMelo Ball.

“I think he’s learning. This is a really good experience for him,” Clifford said. “The biggest thing he has got to get to is consistency in all areas of play. So I think having minutes like this is a good opportunity for him. He has got a great attitude and he’s learning every night.”

The Magic and Hornets met March 5 with Orlando winning 101-89 in Charlotte. Banchero led the Magic with 22 points in that game, while Vasilije Micic had 21 points for the Hornets, who have dropped four straight against Orlando.

Almost half (35) of Orlando’s 74 shots from the field were 3-point attempts in that game. The Magic made 13 of those shots.

–Field Level Media

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