Bobcats 105, Magic 92By Tim Povtak, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Tue, Feb 19, 2013 9:41 PM EST
ORLANDO -- The battle for the NBA's worst record got a little tighter Tuesday night after Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker each scored 24 points to lead the Charlotte Bobcats to a 105-92 victory over the Orlando Magic. The Magic (15-38) have lost 25 of their last 28 games. The Bobcats (13-40) have won two of their last three, returning from the All-Star break with new-found confidence. Byron Mullens had 20 points and 12 for Charlotte. Orlando's Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 11 rebounds, his 30th double-double of the season, which is tied for the third most in the NBA. The Bobcats cooled off in the second half after scoring 63 points in the first half, but Walker carried them down the stretch when he scored 11 points in the final three minutes. Although they trailed the entire game, the Magic closed to 90-88 when Arron Affalo hit three free throws. Walker took over from there. The Magic scored the first 10 points of the third quarter, cutting the halftime deficit in half. They still trailed by 10 going into the fourth quarter. The Bobcats led, 63-43, at intermission, getting 18 points from Henderson and 14 from Byron Mullens. They also shot 59 percent (26 of 44) from the field. The Bobcats entered the game with the lowest field goal percentage in the NBA (42.1 percent), but they hit 15 of 22 shots (68.2 percent) in the first quarter when they scored 37 points. It was the most points they have scored this season in the first quarter, and the most the Magic have allowed. The Bobcats are home Wednesday against Detroit, while the Magic play in Dallas. NOTES: It won't be an easy road for the Magic in the final nine weeks of the season. Of their remaining 29 games, 21 are against teams that currently would qualify for the playoffs. "These are teams that will be jockeying for playoff position. They won't have any sympathy for us," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We have to have an aggressive approach every night." ... It's easy to see why these are the two worst teams in the NBA. The Magic haven't won back-to-back games since mid-December, and the Bobcats haven't won back to back since mid-November. ... Charlotte's second-year point guard Kemba Walker has had some rocky moments in an otherwise good season, but he has shined against the Magic, getting 32 and 25 points in the first two meetings this season. ... J.J. Redick remains the most talked about Magic player heading into Thursday's trade deadline. A big reason is his contract status, the final year of a deal paying him $6.2 million. His name has been linked to potential trades involving the Celtics, Bulls, Bucks and Spurs. He has said he would like to stay in Orlando, but he will be exploring all options this summer as a free agent. "This is a business. I have to make a business decision," he said. "A team is going to do what it feels is best for the team. And there won't be any hard feelings if I get traded."
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