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Magic-Bobcats Preview

AP - Sports

Kemba Walker proved in the Charlotte Bobcats' last contest that he's more than capable of succeeding against top-notch competition.

He's done so against the disappointing Orlando Magic, too.

Charlotte seeks a third straight victory while looking to deal visiting Orlando a seventh consecutive defeat Wednesday night.

Walker came out with the upper hand in Monday's duel with Stephen Curry, hitting 10 of 18 from the field and matching his season high with 31 points in the Bobcats' 115-111 victory over Golden State.

He scored 27 points in the second half and the final 15 for Charlotte (10-11), which will be trying to win three straight for the first time this season.

"I love to play against the best," Walker said. "We came out with the win. That's all I really care about at this point."

Coach Steve Clifford wasn't concerned that Curry burned Walker for 43 points on the other end of the floor, but rather with how Walker was able to respond and help the Bobcats pull out the victory.

"Kemba is an A-1 competitor, and that is a well-rounded game he played because he played tenacious," Clifford said. "I don't care how many points (Curry) had."

Walker has done his share of scoring in recent meetings with Orlando, averaging 28.8 points over the last four. Charlotte has won the last three matchups, including a 114-108 victory March 27 in which Walker scored 34 points - one off his career high - and added nine assists.

Gerald Henderson also fell one shy of his career best by matching Walker's total in that contest. He's coming off a season-high 24 points against the Warriors, and he'll look for another strong performance against Orlando, which hasn't won in two weeks.

The Bobcats rank near the bottom of the league in field-goal percentage (41.4), but the Magic (6-15) have allowed opponents to shoot 47.6 percent during their skid.

Orlando has scored an average of 92.0 points in that stretch while giving up 107.7, and it fell 94-85 to Memphis on Monday. It trailed by as many as 23, but outscored the Grizzlies by 12 in the second half.

"There is always a point in the game that you can give in, or you can choose to rally around each other and try to fight," said coach Jacque Vaughn, whose team fell to 1-10 on the road. "We put a group out on the floor that gave us a chance to do that. They gave us a chance to win."

Nikola Vucevic, averaging 14.7 points and 10.9 rebounds, wasn't in that group as he missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle. Andrew Nicholson (11 rebounds) and Jameer Nelson scored 19 points apiece, while Glen Davis added 16 and nine boards.

"The good thing is, these bumps are coming early as far as tough losses and guys not being healthy," Davis said. "If we can get guys healthy and learn to stay together, we can overcome these obstacles."

Charlotte forward Jeffery Taylor missed Monday's contest with a left heel contusion after matching his season high with 20 points in Friday's win over Philadelphia. It's unclear if he'll be able to play in this contest.

If Taylor is out, Ben Gordon again may see more playing time after scoring a season-high 12 on Monday.

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