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Mar 19, 2024 9:35 pm

Magic take 41-point first-half lead, flatten Hornets

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Cole Anthony scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half in a 112-92 romp past the visiting Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night, securing a spot in at least the play-in round of the NBA postseason.

Jalen Suggs poured in 16 points, Moritz Wagner and Paolo Banchero each had 13 points and Franz Wagner added 11 points for the Magic (41-28), who have won nine of their last 11 games. Orlando led by as many as 41 points in the first half.

Anthony came off the bench to shoot 9-for-12 from the field with three 3-pointers. He had 30 points against Charlotte in a November home game.

Orlando shot 54.3 percent for the game and cruised despite surrendering 33 third-quarter points.

The Hornets (17-52), who dropped to 2-8 this month, were paced by Brandon Miller’s 21 points and Vasilije Micic’s 20 points. Miles Bridges added 16 points and Tre Mann had 11 points for Charlotte, which committed 17 turnovers.

The Hornets shot 9-for-29 on 3-pointers, while Orlando had 12 baskets from 3-point range and also collected 10 offensive rebounds.

Orlando shot 65 percent from the field in the first half, making half of its 16 3-point attempts. Anthony was 8-for-8 in the half.

The Magic led 67-32 at halftime. The Hornets shot 34.3 percent in the half, but their defense was the larger problem. Orlando put together a 14-0 run and two 8-0 spurts during a 40-point second quarter.

By game’s end, 13 Orlando players scored. Banchero, who led the team in scoring in seven of the previous nine games, logged a team-high 26 minutes as most of the regulars had abbreviated appearances because of the large early margin.

It was another miserable night for Charlotte coach Steve Clifford, a former Magic coach. Orlando is 3-0 vs. the Hornets this season.

–Field Level Media

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