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Magic hope to end long slide with Charlotte in town
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Orlando Magic are still winless in the new year, but will face a Charlotte Bobcats team they have already beaten this season.
The Southeast Division foes will tangle Friday in central Florida, where the Magic hope to halt a nine-game losing streak in the second test of a three- game homestand.
Orlando handed the Bobcats a 92-83 defeat back on Dec. 11 in Charlotte and has won 16 of the last 21 matchups between the division rivals. The Bobcats have lost 14 of the 18 meetings in Orlando.
The losing ways continued for the Magic in Wednesday's 128-125 triple-overtime decision versus the Chicago Bulls, as Magic rookie Victor Oladipo netted a career-high 35 points on 15-of-24 shooting in 57 minutes.
"One thing about Vic (Oladipo), he's faster than a hiccup," said teammate Jameer Nelson, who had 31 points and 10 assists. "As soon as you blink, he's gone. He just takes advantage of the seams and he's doing a better job of recognizing what's going on, how teams are playing him."
Tobias Harris had 22 points to go with 16 rebounds for Orlando, which had a 15-point advantage in the second half before the Bulls rallied. Nelson later sent the game into overtime on a jumper with 11.2 second left, while Glen Davis hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at the end of the second OT. Davis had a chance for the win, but his shot was off the mark in the third session.
The Magic, who lost 12 in a row last season from Jan. 18 - Feb. 8, are 7-12 at home and will close the stay Sunday versus Boston.
In injury news for Orlando, Nelson (cramps) and guard Arron Afflalo (foot) are listed as probable versus the Bobcats. Afflalo has missed three straight games and leads the Magic with 20.8 points per game.
Charlotte will wrap up a brief road trip before returning home for three straight games and dropped a tough 95-92 loss at Philadelphia on Wednesday. Sixers forward Thaddeus Young hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds to send the Bobcats to their ninth loss in 11 tries.
Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson scored 26 and 24 points, respectively, while Ramon Sessions added 11 and Josh McRoberts netted 10 points for Charlotte, which was coming off a win over streaking New York and fell to 7-13 on the road. The Bobcats did manage to score 25 points off 24 Philly turnovers.
"It's frustrating. It's disappointing," said Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson, who scored just eight points and had posted 10 or more in his previous 10 contests. "You fight hard to come back and you just can't come up with the plays to win the game."
The Bobcats will host Miami, Toronto and the Los Angeles Clippers on their upcoming homestand.
01/17 10:26:46 ET
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