The best part of Orlando Magic’s 117-106 win over Charlotte Hornets at home on Friday was Paolo Banchero’s 31-point run.
The next three top scorers for the Magic were all substitutes: Cole Anthony (16 points), Jalen Suggs (15 points), and Moritz Wagner (13 points). Wendell Carter Jr. added 12 points and the most rebounds on the team with nine.
The Magic have been going back and forth between wins and losses for 11 straight games, starting with a win at Charlotte on February 5.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but the Hornets lost their second straight game after losing their point guard LaMelo Ball to an ankle fracture earlier in the week. Charlotte lost because they turned the ball over 21 times. Terry Rozier scored 22 points, Gordon Hayward scored 17, and Mark Williams scored 13.
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Banchero scored 16 points in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the third quarter when the Magic were building up a 24-point lead.
With more than eight minutes left, the Hornets cut their deficit to 96-87. Charlotte’s momentum was stopped by Anthony’s 3-pointer and two baskets from Banchero.
But Oubre’s 3-pointer made it 107-100 with 4:24 left. Never once did the Hornets get closer. Banchero ended up making 13 of 26 shots from the field.
Rozier and Oubre each hit four 3-pointers, and Hayward made the Hornets’ only other 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. The team made 9 of 24 shots from far away or 37.5 percent of the time.
Franz Wagner scored nine points in the first quarter when the Magic were ahead 31–26.
Soon after, Wagner limped off the court with a sprained left ankle and was out of the game. The Hornets missed four straight shots and then gave the ball away, making the spread 39-28.
At halftime, the score was 64–48 in favor of Orlando.