Magic snap 10-game losing streak with 116-109 win in Charlotte

The Hornets were outscored 28-18 in the fourth quarter

Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross (31) makes a jumper as Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) attempts the block from behind during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

CHARLOTTE — The Wagner brothers combined for 45 points on Friday night as the Orlando Magic picked up their eighth win of the season with a 116-109 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

The Magic (8-35) entered the Spectrum Center with a 10-game losing streak and the worst record in the NBA but stunned a red-hot Hornets team (23-20) that had won four straight games and seven of its last nine. 

Reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Month Franz Wagner scored 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists for Orlando, and his older brother Moritz came off the bench to provide a season-high 26 points. Gary Harris was 4 for 12 from long range and scored 18 points for the Magic. Robin Lopez and Terrence Ross each added 10 points.

Both teams traded modest leads throughout the game. Charlotte led by eight points in the third quarter until the Magic outscored the Hornets 28-18 in the fourth quarter and built up a 13-point lead that wasn’t challenged. 

“It’s a long season — we’ll regroup and refocus,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said. “Obviously, we didn’t handle our wins appropriately. For whatever reason, the mindset wasn’t there tonight. We own it, we face it, and we move forward.”

LaMelo Ball posted a team-high 23 points and eight assists, while Miles Bridges and Gordon Hayward added 20 points and 18 points, respectively. Mason Plumlee had 10 points with 10 rebounds. 

Terry Rozier had 19 points but hit just six of his 23 shots from the field; the guard was 4 for 15 from 3-point range. 

After the game, Ball said his team needs to play every game with the same energy, regardless of the opponent.

“I feel like that’s where it starts right there,” Ball said. “We feel like we should beat a team. I feel like we should just take everybody the same. Come in, do the same stuff and try to get the win instead of looking down on people like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re supposed to win this one.’ People probably ease up, just stay on it.”

The Hornets’ five starters each scored in double figures but the team struggled overall with accuracy, shooting just 41% from the field (40 of 97) and 29% from behind the arc (12 of 42). Orlando shot 52% (45 of 87) from the field 

The Hornets are now 3-16 this season when outshot by their opponents and 2-10 this season when their opponent shoots 50% or better from the floor.

“We’ve been doing a good job of not letting our offense dictate our defense, but today we took a step back,” Bridges said. “I said in the interview that we can’t relax against this team, and that’s exactly what we did. So, that’s the outcome.”

The Hornets will have the next two days off before heading to New York for a Monday night game at the Knicks (21-21), who have won seven of their last 10 games.