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Southeast cellar-dwellers meet in Orlando
(Sports Network) - Two of the worst teams the Southeast Division has to offer clash Tuesday in central Florida, where the Orlando Magic will entertain the Charlotte Bobcats from Amway Center.
The Magic have lost 13 of their last 14 games and headed to the All-Star break on a losing note, dropping a 108-76 decision at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks last Wednesday. One game after halting a season-high 12-game slide, the Magic were back to their losing ways and shot just 41.5 percent.
Orlando also made only 3-of-14 3-pointers and was led by 10 points from both Andrew Nicholson and Jameer Nelson. Arron Afflalo and E'Twaun Moore scored nine points apiece for the Magic.
Nikola Vucevic had just six points and six rebounds in defeat for the Magic, who trailed by as many as 38 points in the second half.
"At the end of the day, as simple as it can be, you have to be ready to compete every night, especially with the remaining games that we have," said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn on the team's mindset for the second-half. "We're going to play a lot of playoff teams, jockeying for position, and our mental approach has to be sharp going into every game."
The Magic will close out a three-game homestand Tuesday and are just 9-18 at Amway Center this season. They are only 1-4 at home against teams from the Southeast Division.
Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu is eligible to return March 27 after a 20-game suspension for testing positive for steroids.
Charlotte is just 12-40 on the season and sustained a 101-77 setback at Indiana last Wednesday.
Byron Mullens paced Charlotte with 19 points and Bismack Biyombo scored five points to go along with 16 rebounds in defeat. The Bobcats were coming off a 94-91 win over a tired Boston squad two nights before and lost for the 11th time in the past 13 tries.
The Bobcats were dreadful from the field in the second half, scoring just 31 points over the final 24 minutes. Leading scorer Kemba Walker was limited to eight points in the loss. Walker, though, has still scored in double figures in 20 of the last 23 games.
"We only scored 31 points in the second half," Mullens said. "That's what it came down to. They just got out to a really good run and the rest is history."
Charlotte will try to put the brakes on a seven-game road losing streak and hasn't won as the visitor since Jan. 18 at Orlando. It is 5-21 as the guest.
The Bobcats and Magic have split a pair of meetings this season, with each team winning on the road. They will meet again March 27 in Charlotte.
Orlando has won eight of the last 10 matchups in this series and is 24-10 all- time against the Bobcats. Charlotte has dropped 14 of the 17 meetings in the Sunshine State.
02/19 10:37:53 ET