Howard shines as Hornets top Magic 104-102
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 15, 2018 10:38 AM
Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard (12) is fouled by Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo, right, while going up for a shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Dwight Howard had 22 points and 13 rebounds, and the Charlotte Hornets stopped a four-game slide by topping the Orlando Magic 104-102 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
Kemba Walker had 20 points for Charlotte on 6-for-19 shooting. Nicolas Batum added 14 points and seven assists in the Hornets' 10th straight win against the Magic.
Mario Hezonja led Orlando with 21 points and 10 rebounds, but the Magic lost their third straight going into the All-Star break. D.J. Augustin and Marreese Speights had 16 points and Bismack Biyombo finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Orlando led 97-96 before Walker hit a three-pointer with 1:12 to play. Batum hit another 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to stretch Charlotte's lead to 102-97.
The teams traded free throws and Speights hit his fourth three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Howard went 9-for-16 from the field and 4-for-6 at the free-throw line. He scored 10 straight Hornets points in the middle of the third quarter, and didn't get another basket until the three-minute mark of the fourth.
Walker followed Howard's spurt with five straight, but didn't get his next basket until his three-pointer put Charlotte ahead in the final minute.
Orlando had similar issues.
Hezonja had a nice run of eight points late in the third period, but all that did was keep the Magic close. He made only one basket in the fourth quarter.
Orlando trailed by nine early in the fourth before making three straight three-pointers. Aaron Afflalo made the last two of the triples, but then missed his next three shots and went to the bench.
Hornets: PG Kemba Walker made a four-point play with 32 seconds left in the first half. ... Howard has 702 career double-doubles, most of any active player in the NBA.
Magic: Jonathon Simmons didn't start the second half, but returned to the game three minutes into the third quarter. ... Orlando is 2-9 in its last 11 home games against Charlotte. ... PG D.J. Augustin broke out of a 1-for-8 shooting slump from three-point territory, going 4-for-6 from long range.
Hornets: Host Brooklyn next Thursday (next Friday, PHL time). Charlotte has won four straight at home against the Nets.
Magic: Host the New York Knicks next Thursday (next Friday, PHL time).