AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
With each loss, the Orlando Magic bring themselves closer to having the worst record in the NBA, trailing only the Charlotte Bobcats for that dubious honor.
The Magic’s latest loss came against those very same Bobcats, as they were defeated 105-92 in their first game back from the All-Star break. For Orlando, they have now lost 25 of their last 28 games and have fallen two games behind Charlotte for the worst record in the league.
This was a game where Charlotte jumped out to a big early lead and Orlando was unable to fully recover from a large deficit.
In the first quarter, the Bobcats got off to a quick start thanks in large part due to Gerald Henderson, who made five of his first six field goals and scored 14 of his season-high 24 points in the period. Matched up primarily against Arron Afflalo, Henderson did whatever he wanted offensively. He did a nice job of mixing it up — nailing jumpers from the perimeter, attacking the rim, and getting to the free-throw line.
Buoyed by Henderson’s hot start, Charlotte finished with a season-high in first quarter points (37).
The Bobcats were able to keep the momentum going in the second quarter, and coupled with a lackadaisical effort from the Magic, they finished the period on a 15-3 run and opened up a 20-point lead heading into halftime.
In the second half, Orlando played with more energy and effort on both ends of the floor. Particularly on the defensive side of the ball, as Charlotte’s offense cooled down considerably in the third quarter after a torrid first half. That allowed the Magic to begin to chip away at their deficit.
Orlando continued their comeback bid in the fourth quarter, whittling down the Bobcats’ lead to 90-88 with 4 minutes left. But Charlotte responded by ending the game on a 15-4 run. The catalyst was Kemba Walker, who had a quiet first half, but scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half and accounted for 11 of the final 15 points for the Bobcats.
MVP (Most Valuable Player)
The player of the game was Henderson. He scored 14 of his 24 points in the first quarter and paved the way for Charlotte to pick up a rare road win coming out of the All-Star break.
You could make a case that Walker was the MVP of this game based on his performance in the fourth quarter. He scored 11 of his 24 points in the final period and quelled the Magic’s comeback attempt.
After trailing 63-43 at halftime, Orlando clawed their way back into the game and cut their deficit to as little as two points late in the fourth quarter. But the Bobcats responded by finishing the game on a 15-4 run.