Walker, Henderson lead Bobcats past Magic, 105-92
Posted at: 02/19/2013 10:08 PM
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
(AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson each had 24 points, Byron Mullens added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Charlotte Bobcats survived a second-half comeback to hold off the Orlando Magic 105-92 on Tuesday night.
Mullens has had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in three of the Bobcats’ last five games.
The Bobcats have won two of their last three and also snapped a string of seven consecutive road losses. Charlotte begins a three-game home stand on Wednesday against Detroit.
Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Arron Afflalo 18 points to lead the Magic, who have lost 25 of their last 28, including 13 of 15 at home.
They begin a two-game road trip Wednesday in Dallas.
The Magic and Bobcats began the night with NBA’s two worst winning percentages, and showed why at different times during the game.
In the first half it was Orlando that had trouble making baskets and just generally taking care of the ball while falling behind by 20.
Charlotte took its turn tripping over itself in the second half, watching an early lead get cut in half in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
That helped the Magic trim what had been a 22-point lead in the first half to single digits in the opening minutes of the fourth.
Orlando continued to chip away and eventually three free throws by Afflalo trimmed Charlotte’s lead all the way to 90-88 with just 4 minutes to play.
Charlotte responded, though, turning more bad Magic possessions into easy baskets and pushed its advantage back to 100-92 on a dunk by Henderson with just over a minute left.
Charlotte did what it wanted offensively as it built a 63-43 halftime lead.
It didn’t hurt that the Bobcats shot 59 percent (26 for 44) in the half, while the Magic struggled throughout, shooting 38 percent (18 for 47).
The Magic led by a point early in the first quarter, before falling into a hole as quick shots and shaky ball handling added up to a 14-2 edge by Charlotte in fast-break points.
Orlando also got little production from its bench early on, as sixth-man J.J. Redick connected on just 1 of his first 6 shots.
NOTES: Vucevic’s double-double was his 30th of the season. ... The Bobcats’ 37-point first quarter was their most productive opening period this season. ... The Magic play 20 of their final 29 games against teams that would make the playoffs if the season had ended at the All-Star break.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)