Jefferson, Walker help ‘Cats rally past sagging Magic
ORLANDO — Al Jefferson had 30 points and 16 rebounds, Kemba Walker added 19 points and 10 assists and the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Orlando Magic 111-101 on Friday night.
The Magic dug out of an 18-point first-half hole and pulled to 78-76 early in the fourth quarter. However, the Bobcats shot 16 for 20 on free throws in the final period to help secure the win.
Josh McRoberts and Gerald Henderson added 17 points apiece for Charlotte.
Orlando committed 16 turnovers in the loss, and extended its season-high losing streak to 10 games.
Arron Afflalo scored 24 points in his return to the Magic lineup, and Tobias Harris and Jameer Nelson each added 18.
The Magic looked sluggish early coming off a three-hour, triple-overtime loss to Chicago on Wednesday that saw their starters play at least 43 minutes each.
Orlando connected on just 1 of their first 10 field goal attempts to begin the game, allowing the Bobcats to jump out to a 21-3 lead.
The Magic found some energy as they closed the half on a 50-31 spurt to take a one-point lead into halftime.
Charlotte’s shooting kept them in the game, though, and they took a 78-74 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats seemed to be in control late at 103-91, but Afflalo scored six straight points –including a four-point play — to get the Magic back to 103-97 with 2:55 to play.
But Jefferson scored six straight points as Charlotte responded with an 8-4 run to close out the game NOTES: The Bobcats snapped a three-game road losing streak. … Orlando is now 1-22 this season when its opponent scores 100 or more points. … The Magic honored Horace Grant between the first and second quarter as part of the team’s season-long "Legends Nights" series to commemorate its 25th anniversary season. Grant played six plus years for Orlando from 1994 to 1999 and 2001 to 2003.