Dead last in the Eastern Conference, Orlando ended its series of ten losses on the side of Charlotte, trapped in the last act after three quarters during which the two teams were rather equal.
This is how at +3 with 12 minutes remaining (91-88), the Hornets suffered a fatal 15-2 from which they were unable to recover at the end. The series highlighted the X factors of the evening on the Florida side with first the return of Jalen Suggs who attacked with two lay-ups before passing the baton to Moritz Wagner for a 3-point and a lay-up as well than Franz Wagner for a dunk that helped put the score up to 103-93 in favor of Jamahl Mosley’s men.
Moritz and Franz Wagner then scored 11 of their team’s last 13 points to secure victory despite last-ditch efforts from Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier from 3-pointers (109-116).
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Magic finally rewarded. Opponents often praise the quality of the opposition displayed by the Magic, even if the results are not there. This night, the Floridians were able to make a full match by holding on for three quarters before placing a decisive run, and thus taking advantage of the lack of aggressiveness of the Hornets to win the victory with their weapons, a magnified applied collective by a bench which proved to be productive (45 points).
– The successful return of Jalen Suggs. His thumb fracture forgotten, the rookie signed 22 minutes of very good quality off the bench. The back was incisive, a little too much sometimes since he still lost 6 balls in the process, largely caught up by his activity since he compiled 12 points (5/8), 6 rebounds and 7 assists , and showed himself to his advantage in the last act.
✅ The Wagner brothers. This is the advantage of having a collective with equal forces, you never know who will come out of the hat. Alongside Gary Harris and Franz Wagner last night, it was Moritz Wagner who came out on top with 26 points at 11/17 shooting, including 4/8 from 3-pointers, 4 rebounds, and notably contributed to make the hole in the last act. The “Wagner Bros. have 45 points on 19 of 28 shooting, and they’ve scored 11 of their team’s last 13 points.
⛔ The Hornets bench. As much as the five major scares, as much the bench… scares too, but not for the opposite reasons. Unlike the Magic, the Hornets bench was not an asset for James Borrego’s team. The latter struggled to find reliable relays off the bench and therefore could not offer a second wind to his team. In addition to being discreet, Charlotte’s bench was clumsy from afar (1/8), another black spot for the North Carolina franchise tonight.
The LaMelo Show. The leader of the Hornets made the crowd rise on two spectacular actions, one after the other. He first embarrassed Cole Anthony by stopping his dribble to better shoot from afar. Then, on the next action, it was he again who stole the ball after a bad pass from Cole Anthony to go serve Miles Bridges after passing the ball between his legs. A showtime sequence that delighted the Spectrum Center.
Charlotte (23-20): the Hornets head to Madison Square Garden on Monday to take on the Knicks.
Orlando (8-35): the Magic continues on its way to Dallas to challenge the Mavs this Saturday.