Paolo Banchero scores 31 as Magic knock off Hornets
Field Level Media
Mar 3, 2023
Paolo Banchero poured in 31 points and the visiting Orlando Magic scored in bunches in the first three quarters on the way to defeating the Charlotte Hornets 117-106 on Friday night.
The Magic's next three top scorers were reserves: Cole Anthony with 16 points, Jalen Suggs with 15 and Moritz Wagner with 13. Wendell Carter Jr. added 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
The Magic have alternated wins and losses for 11 consecutive games, a trend that began with a victory at Charlotte on Feb. 5.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 29 points to go with 10 rebounds, but the Hornets lost their second game in a row since losing point guard LaMelo Ball to an ankle fracture earlier in the week. Terry Rozier posted 22 points, Gordon Hayward 17 and Mark Williams 13 points for Charlotte, which was hurt by 21 turnovers.
Banchero racked up 16 points in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the third quarter as the Magic were building a 24-point lead.
The Hornets trimmed their deficit to 96-87 with more than eight minutes remaining. Anthony's 3-pointer and two baskets from Banchero stalled Charlotte's momentum.
But a 3-pointer from Oubre made it 107-100 with 4:24 to play. The Hornets never got closer. Banchero finished 13-for-26 from the field.
Rozier and Oubre hit four treys apiece, but the Hornets' only other 3-pointer came from Hayward in the fourth quarter. The team shot 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) from distance for the game.
Franz Wagner scored nine points in the first quarter as the Magic led 31-26, but Wagner was done for the game soon after when he limped off the court with a left ankle sprain. The spread reached 39-28 as the Hornets missed four consecutive shots and then committed a turnover.
Orlando led 64-48 at halftime, with Suggs and Anthony both posting 11 points. Suggs scored six points in the last three minutes of the half.
The Magic's reserves outscored Charlotte's backups 30-9 in the first half.
The Hornets shot 3-for-12 on first-half 3-pointers, missing their last four attempts from long range.
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