Walker, Hornets down Magic to stop skid
ORLANDO, Fla. — Kemba Walker scored 30 points, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Orlando Magic 98-90 on Saturday night to stop a five-game losing streak.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte, which dropped each of its first two games this season against Orlando. Gary Neal added 16 points and Cody Zoeller finished with 12.
Victor Oladipo scored 21 points for the Magic, and Nik Vucevic had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Tobias Harris also had a double-double with 18 points and 11 boards.
Orlando has lost three in a row.
The Hornets outscored the Magic 30-9 in the second quarter, including a 22-0 run in the final seven minutes of the period. Gerald Henderson made 1 of 2 foul shots with 1.1 seconds left to make it 52-29 at the break
Charlotte limited Orlando to 2-of-17 shooting and forced six turnovers in the second quarter.
The Magic rallied in the fourth, trimming the Hornets’ lead to 91-84 on Elfrid Payton’s three-point play with 1:01 to go. But Walker and Zeller combined for six free throws in the final minute to help Charlotte close out the win.
Orlando shot 38 percent (33 for 87) from the field, including a 4-for-19 night from 3-point range. The Magic were coming off a 100-98 loss to Brooklyn on Friday night.
Oladipo hit two free throws to get Orlando within one with 6:59 left in the second period, but those were the last points of the half for the Magic. Orlando went 0 for 10 with five turnovers for the rest of the quarter.
Charlotte missed its first eight shots of the second half, opening the door for a 10-0 run by the Magic. Two more free throws by Oladipo cut the deficit to 52-39 with 8:20 left in the third, but the rally died quickly.
Zeller had a tip-in, and Walker took over from there. The point guard scored eight of his 20 second-half points in the next four minutes, including a pair of 3-pointers that helped stretch the lead back to 20.