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Magic erase 23-point deficit, beat Hornets 105-100

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Evan Fournier scored 21 points, Tobias Harris had 17 points and 16 rebounds as the Orlando Magic erased a 23-point second-half deficit to hand the Charlotte Hornets their fourth straight loss 105-100 on Friday night.

The Magic trailed by 15 entering the fourth quarter, but Willie Green sparked a comeback by scoring all nine of his points in the final period at a crucial juncture.

Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Elfrid Payton had 16 points for Orlando (6-8) off the bench on 7 of 11 shooting.

Al Jefferson had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Kemba Walker added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the struggling Hornets. Charlotte had a chance to climb out of the cellar in the Southeast Division but was outscored 41-21 in the fourth quarter and lost for the sixth time in the last seven games.

Gary Neal added 17 points for Charlotte (4-9).

The Magic came in shooting better than 45 percent from 3-point range over the last eight games, but failed to connect from beyond the arc in the first half and fell behind 51-40 at the break.

The Hornets pushed the lead to 23 points midway through the third quarter behind a pair of 3-pointers by Gerald Henderson, one of those coming off a drive and kick out to the right corner by Walker.

The Magic didn’t make their first 3-pointer until Fournier knocked one down with 7:39 left in the third quarter. They finished 4 of 16 from beyond the arc.

At times, the Magic simply looked worn down in the second half. On one Charlotte possession they allowed the Hornets to get three offensive rebounds and reset each time before Walker scored on a short jumper.

But Green ignited a key run.

The 11-year NBA veteran hit back-to-back jumpers, Ben Gordon connected on a 19-foot jump shot before Green swished another 19-foot jumper to tie the game at 93. Payton finally put the Magic ahead with 1:30 left when he hit a pull-up jump shot.

It went back and forth from there.

With the game tied 97-97, Elfrid Payton missed two free throws but the Hornets forgot to box out and Green grabbed an offensive rebound for an all-too-easy put back with 57 seconds left in the game to put Orlando ahead for good.

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TIP-INS

Magic: Rookie forward Aaron Gordon underwent successful surgery on the fractured bone in his left foot on Friday. He is out indefinitely.

Hornets: Neal returned after he missed the last two games with a concussion. … Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (stress reaction) and P.J. Hairston (ankle sprain) remain out of action

UP NEXT

Magic: Host Miami on Saturday night.

Hornets: Play at Miami on Sunday night.

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