National Basketball Association
Charlotte at Orlando
When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 1, 2015
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
The Charlotte Hornets have hit some speed bumps on their road to the playoffs and look to change course when they visit the Orlando Magic on Sunday. The Hornets let a 16-point lead get away at Boston to drop their sixth in seven games Friday and continue to lose ground in the six-team battle for the final two postseason spots in the Eastern Conference. The Magic, who are 4-4 since their coaching change, can win the season series after taking two of the first three – both at Charlotte.
Orlando has lost two in a row, including a 95-88 decision at Atlanta on Friday, but has improved on defense while allowing fewer than 100 points in eight straight since James Borrego took over as coach. Nikola Vucevic recorded double-doubles in four of the last five games and opposes Hornets big man Al Jefferson, who has averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds in two games against Orlando this season. Charlotte is 10-17 on the road and the Magic are 9-19 at home.TV:
6 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Charlotte), FSN Florida (Orlando)ABOUT THE HORNETS (23-33):
Mo Williams is averaging 23.5 points in four games since being acquired from Minnesota while leading scorer Kemba Walker (18.8) continues to recover from a knee injury. Jefferson (17.1) is the only other player scoring more than 11 per game for the Hornets and leads the team in rebounding (8.7). Gerald Henderson scored 14 on 6-of-12 shooting against Boston after going 6-of-25 over the previous three games and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist boasts two straight double-doubles.ABOUT THE MAGIC (19-41):
Orlando fell behind 16 early on and battled all the way back to take the lead before losing to the Eastern Conference-leading Hawks on Friday. “We were trying to dig ourselves out of holes the whole game,” Magic guard Willie Green told the Orlando Sentinel. “I like the fight that we had, but we just have to give ourselves a better chance.” Vucevic leads the team in scoring (19.9) and rebounding (11.4) while Tobias Harris (17 points) and Victor Oladipo (16.7) also contribute.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Orlando F Channing Frye has made seven 3-pointers and averaged 10 points the last three games after scoring 33 combined the previous seven.
2. Charlotte leads the league in least turnovers per game (11.1), but has averaged 15.5 in its last two losses.
3. Magic F Aaron Gordon (ankle) has missed the last two games and G Evan Fournier (sore hip) was held out against Atlanta.PREDICTION:
Magic 100, Hornets 96
Stats and Records