PJ Washington sat tonight’s game out as he continues to deal with an ankle injury. Dwayne Bacon got the start in his stead, which moved Miles Bridges to the four spot. He made good in the new role, hitting a three on the Hornets first possession and this throwdown on the second:
Cody Zeller found Bridges for another dunk a couple possessions later:
The Hornets trailed by as many as 10 during the first quarter, but a 9-0 run to close the quarter narrowed the deficit to one. Malik Monk scored or assisted on all of nine of the points, with the assisted basket being the most spectacular of the bunch:
The centers stole the show at the start of the second quarter, and Nikola Vucevic was on the bench for the entirety of it. Mo Bamba scored ten points in the first few minutes of the second quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers. Cody Zeller, not to be outdone, scored nine points of his own in the same time frame. Cody Martin took flight for another huge dunk, this time all on his own.
The Magic got 3-pointers from Markelle Fultz and Michael Carter-Williams about a minute apart, which is absurd enough to get its own sentence in this recap. At the half, the Hornets trailed by three.
After some back and forth, the Magic reestablished their ten point lead, but a crafty iso layup from Terry Rozier and a full court pass from Cody Martin to Cody Zeller for a layup pulled the Hornets back within six and forced a Magic timeout. They pulled within four when Marvin Williams stole a lob intended for Cody Martin and turned what would’ve been another highlight into ground bound layup. Martin and Willy Hernangomez scored the last ten points of the quarter from the Hornets, who struggled to get stops and took an eight point deficit into the fourth quarter.
The Magic scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to break open a 14 point lead. The Hornets offense finally sparked a bit after that, including a pair of much needed jumpers from Devonte’ Graham, but they couldn’t get stops on the defensive end. The Hornets pulled within ten around the three minute mark, but Terrence Ross hit back to back 3-pointers to bury the Hornets.
Six Hornets scored in double figures, including Cody Martin scoring a career high 13 points. Devonte' Graham caught fire in the fourth, which was a welcome sight for a player that's been struggling with his shot. Cody Zeller continued his strong play with 17 points and 7 rebounds.