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Bobcats 106, Magic 100

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO -- The Charlotte Bobcats got 25 points from point guard Kemba Walker Friday night and beat the Orlando Magic 106-100 to snap a five-game losing streak.

The Bobcats, who had lost 24 of their previous 26 games, never trailed in the second half, leading by as many as 13 points early in the fourth quarter.

The Magic got 23 points from Arron Afflalo. Jameer Nelson had 22, but he left the game with 58 seconds remaining when he got knocked to the floor by Brendan Haywood, who was called for setting an illegal screen.

Charlotte reserve Ramon Sessions had 15 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter when the Bobcats held off a late Magic charge. Gerald Henderson added 18 points for the Bobcats.

The Magic had closed to within 98-94, but a technical foul by Afflalo and three consecutive free throws by the Bobcats ended Orlando's hope of winning.

The Magic (14-25) continued their up-and-down ways this month, also losing to lowly Washington, while beating good teams like the Clippers and Pacers.

After trailing by 12 at halftime, the Magic cut the deficit to 76-71 going into the fourth quarter. J.J. Redick, who had only one point in the first half, closed the third quarter by hitting the Magic's final three baskets, including a pair of 3-pointers.

The Bobcats led 57-45 at halftime, riding a hot start from their starting backcourt. Henderson had 17 points and Walker 16 before intermission.

The Magic offered little resistance early, allowing the Bobcats to shoot 59 percent in those first two quarters.

Nelson had 13 points and hit three of his six 3-pointers in the first half, but the Orlando front court struggled. Forward Glen Davis, in his second start since returning from a shoulder injury, failed to score and committed three fouls before intermission.

NOTES: Session hasn't started a game this season, but has carved a niche as a player who can get to the free-throw line, which is why he has some real value moving toward the trade deadline. Although he is averaging only 26.6 minutes per game, Session came into Friday's game ranked sixth in the league in free throws made (177) and eighth in free throws attempted (210). "He's like a coach on the floor out there," said Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap. "He just knows the game, and how it's played." ... Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, who rarely expresses his opinions with the media, was talking about NBA point guards before Friday's game. "I played with, and against, two of the best (point guard) finishers who ever played this game," he said, referring to Tony Parker of San Antonio, and former player Rod Strickland. ... Dunlap coached Magic rookie Maurice Harkless last season at St. John's University. They exchanged a hug before the game. ... It's hard to believe now, but the Bobcats started the season with a 7-5 record. ... It's no surprise that the Magic came out firing 3-pointers Wednesday. They hit 12 of them Wednesday and the Bobcats are the NBA's worst team at defending the long ball, allowing opponents to shoot 39 percent from 3-point range.
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