Monday, December 5, 2022
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Preview: Charlotte Hornets (11-8) at Orlando Magic (4-14)

The Orlando Magic will debut their 2021-22 Nike NBA City Edition uniform on Wednesday when they host the Charlotte Hornets.

Perhaps the new look will provide a change of fortune at home for Magic first-year head coach Jamahl Mosley and his young team. Orlando is 1-6 at the Amway Center, and that includes a 120-111 loss to Charlotte on Oct. 27 in the season’s first meeting between the Southeast Division counterparts.

Orlando undoubtedly is eager to return home after a challenging two-game series against the defending league champion Milwaukee Bucks, which included the biggest halftime deficit in Magic history.

In the series finale on Monday, Milwaukee’s 77-36 advantage after two quarters also represented the largest halftime lead in franchise history. The margin rose to 51 points before the Bucks coasted to a 123-92 victory.

The Magic trailed Milwaukee by 25 points after three quarters in a 117-108 defeat on Saturday as they attempted 51 3s — a single-game franchise record — and made 19. Orlando has made a 3-pointer in 1,147 consecutive games, the NBA’s fifth-longest active streak.

“You give the Bucks all the credit for the way they played,” Mosley said after Monday’s loss. “(The Bucks) are the world champs for a reason. They turned the pressure up and this is a great measuring stick to help us understand the things that we need to do to continue to grow, to continue to get better, to continue to develop.”

Cole Anthony did not play in the Milwaukee series, which concluded Orlando’s five-game road trip, to rest his sprained right ankle. Meanwhile, productive rookie forward Franz Wagner managed only three points during the two-game set on 1-for-13 combined shooting.

Orlando’s bench players capitalized on their minutes in both games, totaling 64 points on Monday as Moritz Wagner scored a season-high 18 points in 24 minutes, R.J. Hampton contributed 14 points and eight rebounds and Robin Lopez had 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting.

Mychal Mulder scored 13 points in a starting role on Monday for the Magic, who are 2-12 against Eastern Conference opponents and 0-4 versus Southeast Division foes.

Despite being outscored 17-0 on fast-break points, Charlotte made it six wins in seven games with Monday’s 109-103 victory at Washington.

Terry Rozier scored a season-high 32 points, and it was his eighth 3-pointer of the game that gave the Hornets a five-point lead with 13 seconds left. LaMelo Ball finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and three steals, and Gordon Hayward had 16 points as Charlotte defeated the Wizards for the second time in six days.

“I think the group’s starting to understand what it takes to win in this league,” Charlotte head coach James Borrego said postgame Monday. “We’re not where we need to be, but we’re taking steps in the right direction.”

Charlotte’s P.J. Washington (elbow) is listed as doubtful for Wednesday. On Sunday, the Hornets recalled 2021 lottery pick James Bouknight and 2021 first-round selection Kai Jones from the G League’s Greensboro Swarm and assigned Vernon Carey Jr. to Greensboro.

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