Hornets Monday night wrapup: Charlotte at Orlando Magic

By Richard Walker

Notes and observations from Monday’s 117-108 Charlotte Hornets’ road loss at the Orlando Magic that dropped Charlotte to 7-10 overall:

… Normally a 15-point first quarter lead and an 11-point advantage after the first quarter (30-19) spell victory for the Hornets this season. Charlotte had been 4-1 in games in which it held the first quarter lead and had blown only one double digit lead this season. Instead, Orlando went on 31-11 first half surge and had a 21-2 third quarter surge that was too much for Charlotte to overcome. “We had a poor second quarter and didn’t make shots,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said. “They made shots. They had 19 3s.”

… Orlando’s 19 3-pointers were a season-high and the Magic were consistent and efficient from long range as they were three of 11, five of nine, seven of 12 and four of five, respectively, in the four quarters from long range.

… Charlotte got scoring balance as Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier had 24 points apiece and Devonte’ Graham 21 and Cody Zeller (11), Miles Bridges (10) and LaMelo Ball (9) combined for 30 points off the bench. “It’s unfortunate because we had a great start,” Borrego said. “We couldn’t maintain it.”

… Graham praised Orlando one day after Charlotte rallied from a 86-74 deficit entering the fourth quarter to win 107-104 on Sunday. “I think you’ve got to give Orlando credit,” Graham said. “They hit big shots.”

… Zeller seems to be rounding into form after missing a month following surgery on a broken left hand last Friday. “He looked more comfortable,” Borrego said. “He looks like he’s getting his legs back. Tonight was his best night since he’s come back.”

… History was made in Monday’s game as two female referees – Natalie Sago and Jenna Schroeder – worked a game together for the first time in league history. “It’s a special night for the league,” Borrego said before the game. “I look at someone like my daughter and I love being a part of a league that’s breaking barriers. It’s fantastic. It’s a wonderful thing for the league.”

What’s next: Charlotte begins a three-game home stand on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the Indiana Pacers.