Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY
The Magic seemed despondent as losses continue to pile up. Frustration was boiling over as shots refused to go down and teams picked them apart with a 3-point barrage that was so uncharacteristic. Nikola Vucevic was out with a sprained ankle and his absence was felt with every rebound that was missed and every second chance opportunity given up.
When Glen Davis finally got to chat wtih Fox Sports Florida's Dante Marchitelli, you could feel the relief that Orlando had finally snapped a six-game losing streak and done what was necessary to put one in the win column after two hard weeks on the road. The Magic are finally heading home.
Charlotte and Orlando both struggled to shoot the ball, but rebounding proved to buoy Orlando until the 3-pointers began falling in the second half. Nikola Vucevic returned to the lineup and recorded a first-half double double and Jameer Nelson poured in 12 fourth-quarter points to propel the Magic to a 92-83 win over the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Having Vucevic back on the floor caused a pretty measurable change for the Magic. He finished the night with 12 points and 14 rebounds. He had eight of those in the first quarter, 11 by halftime and grabbed four offensive rebounds in the first half. Vucevic helped keep the Magic more than competitive as the offense struggled to find the bottom of the net.
This had schedule loss written all over it if it were not for those rebounds and that effort from Vucevic. The Magic really had little business leading any game when they were shooting 38.0 percent from the floor and putting up an 0-for from beyond the arc.
The Magic got the boost they needed offensively in making 7 of 11 3-pointers in the second half. Glen Davis hit a key one toward the end of the thrid quarter. Jameer Nelson hit a 28-footer which gave the Magic some cushion and another one to give Orlando a seven-point lead.
The Magic finally got the ball moving and got the open shots all over the court that get the juices flowing offensively.
Jameer Nelson scored all 17 points in the second half and 12 in the fourth quarter. He put the team on his shoulders and attacked the basket, twice blowing by his defender for an easy layup in the fourth quarter.
Charlotte missed several open looks, finally giving Orlando a break from the above-average performances some poor shooting games. The Magic had to fight fits of hero ball that has plagued them throughout much of this road trip. Eventually they found the formula that had eluded them.
Orlando dominated on the glass winning the battle on the offensive glass 14-9, on second chance points 17-8 and on the glass in total 52-41. Orlando held Charlotte to 36.9 percent shooting largely keeping the team out of the paint outside Al Jefferson post ups.
The Magic had to grind this game out. They finally were able to do that when that has been something they struggled with throughout this road trip.
It might "just" be the Bobcats, but this was a win the Magic could be proud of after two weeks of frustration. Orlando did not have its best stuff, but it found the way to win and feel good hopping on the plan heading home.