Game review: Bobcats (34-31) 96, Magic (47-21) 89
The Magic, going for their franchise-tying 9th win in a row, scored only 36 second half points and were outplayed and outhustled by Charlotte, who had a decisive edge rebounding and converting free throws. The Magic were without Matt Barnes, who sat out with a sprained toe, while the Bobcats were without F Gerald Wallace. Stephen Jackson led the Bobcats with 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Dwight Howard led the Magic with 27 points, 16 rebounds.
The Magic led by as many as 4 points in the first quarter, but the Bobcats came on late in the quarter to lead by as many as 5 points and held a 26-25 lead after one. The Magic took the lead early in the second quarter, and led by as many as 6 points on their way to a 53-51 halftime lead. The Magic's last lead of the game was 55-53, as the Bobcats took the lead at the 9:24 mark of the third 57-55 and led by as many as 6 points as they held a 72-68 lead after three quarters. A Jason Williams three pointer pulled the Magic to within 72-71 to start the fourth, but that was as close as the Magic would come as the Bobcats went on a 12-3 run to go ahead 84-74. The Magic scored 7 points in a row to cut their deficit to 84-81 with 4:13 remaining, but could get no closer as the Bobcats went on a 7-2 run to put the game away.
Magic leading scorers
Dwight Howard: 27 points (12 of 14 FGs, 3 of 10 FTs), 16 rebounds, 2 blocks, 4 turnovers
Vince Carter: 23 points (7 of 13 FGs, 3 of 8 3 PT FGs), 6 assists, 4 rebounds
Mickael Pietrus: 20 points (7 of 13 FGs, 5 of 7 3 PT FGs), 5 rebounds
Overall Game Statistics
FG%: CHA 46.7% (35 of 75) ORL 45.8% (33 of 72)
3 PT FG%: CHA 50% (5 of 10) ORL 34.4% (11 of 32)
FT%: CHA 80.8% (21 of 26) ORL 57.1% (12 of 21)
REB: CHA 46 (12 offensive) ORL 34 (9 offensive)
AST/TO: CHA 20/15 ORL 16/15
BENCH: CHA 21 ORL 12
Other game notes and stats;
-In addition to Jackson's 28 points, three other Bobcats scored in double figures with Raymond Felton scoring 16 points with 7 assists, Stephen Graham 12 points, 6 rebounds, and Theo Ratliff with 10 points, 9 rebounds; Tyrus Thomas added 9 points mad 9 rebounds off the bench
-Jameer Nelson (4 points) and Rashard Lewis (3 points) combined for 7 points on 3 of 17 shooting, and 1 of 9 3 PT FG shooting for the Magic
-Nelson had only 3 assists in 33 minutes
-Lewis scored his only points of the game on a three pointer with 32 seconds remaining
-Jason Williams led the Magic reserves with 6 points and 3 assists
-The Magic reserves shot a collective 4 of 15 from the field for 12 points
-Howard, Carter, and Pietrus combined to shoot 26 of 40 from the floor for 70 points; the rest of the Magic shot a collective 7 of 32 from the floor, including 3 of 16 on threes
-The Magic's starting frontcourt outscored the Bobcats' starting frontcourt 50-31, but the Magic starting backcourt was outscored 44-27 by the Bobcats' starting backcourt
Here is the complete recap and box score from nba.com.