Orlando Magic Grades: Orlando Magic 127, Charlotte Hornets 89

The Orlando Magic are held together through team play, but they may need to make a move to get to the next level and Evan Fournier could be the target. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic are held together through team play, but they may need to make a move to get to the next level and Evan Fournier could be the target. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic extended their win streak to five games, routing the Charlotte Hornets at home to head into the All-Star Break.

89. 170. 127. 38. Final

It might be easy to dismiss the Orlando Magic’s five-game win streak as some fluke.

There were plenty of those plays like the first quarter play where Isaiah Briscoe‘s inbound pass was deflected off Aaron Gordon directly to Khem Birch for a dunk. That gave Orlando an early 15-point lead.

But that does not quite get to the heart of this team right now.

Yes, part of this win streak featured some luck — Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the team’s game against the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks and Anthony Davis is doing whatever he is doing with the New Orleans Pelicans. But the Magic still took advantage of those opportunities that presented themselves. Something this team has not done.

This is a team that is putting the foot down and dominating. Putting emphasis on these wins. Whether it is Jonathan Isaac‘s blocked shots against John Collins or what Terrence Ross did to the Charlotte Hornets’ defense on Thursday.

Terrence Ross in the fourth quarter of a game that was a blowout by halftime, drove the lane and glided beneath the basket for a reverse jam. It was the emphatic statement to a cathartic 127-89 victory over Charlotte, breaking Orlando’s 13-game losing streak to the franchise and sending them to the All-Star break with a five-game win streak.

Orlando is not just beating teams and winning these games. The team is dominating teams. That is more than luck. That is, as David Steele might say, something. Not just something but anything.

The Magic dominated from the start of the game in every facet. Kemba Walker, a thorn in Orlando’s side, scored just 10 points and made only 4 of his 20 shots. The Hornets shot 35.1 percent from the floor and 4 for 31 from beyond the arc. Early open shots did not fall and the Magic tightened up throughout the game — especially the second quarter.

Orlando led by 35 at halftime and by as much as 40 points. It was as shocking as it was thrilling.

The Magic moved the ball effectively, decimating the Hornets’ defense and making shots inside the paint and out. Orlando met little resistance and looked like the far better team throughout the night.

As Jonathan Isaac said after the game, it feels like the All-Star Break is coming at the absolute worst time for this team.

C. Orlando Magic. NIKOLA VUCEVIC. A. <a href=

A. Terrence Ross has had some rough games lately. The rest of the bench has stepped up to take up the slack. But when Ross gets going, it is still a sight.<p>Ross’ scoring binge in the second quarter really broke the game open. His emphatic dunk in the fourth quarter was a strong statement of the Magic’s overall dominance. There was little the Charlotte Hornets could do to stop him once he got going. He comes around screens and shoots so quickly.</p><p>Ross finished with 21 points off the bench, making 8 of 15 shots.</p>. G/F. Orlando Magic. TERRENCE ROSS

Orlando Magic. EVAN FOURNIER. B+. The Orlando Magic got themselves going thanks to <a href=. G/F

A. Another big part of the Orlando Magic’s surge has been the play of grinders like <a href=. C. Orlando Magic. KHEM BIRCH

D. The Orlando Magic have been on the wrong ends of games like these to the Charlotte Hornets for a long time. Games where they simply did not have it offensively early on and it affected their defense. Or games where their defense could not get stops and the offense could not hit open shots. There was a little bit of all of that.<p>The Hornets got plenty of good looks and played plenty hard throughout the game. This was not a case like Tuesday night’s game. The Hornets could have made a run. But the lead just kept snowballing and the Magic’s confidence kept growing. Charlotte could not crack the defense or hit the shots to stop the bleeding.</p><p>This will go down as one of the Hornets’ worst games. It was not for lack of effort or even lack of execution. There might have been some looking ahead to the All-Star Break. It was just a sloppy and imperfect performance for them. They got thumped for it.</p>. 27-30. 7th East. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

The Orlando Magic enter the All-Star Break at 27-32 and trail the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons by 0.5 games for the final Playoff spot. The Orlando Magic will be eliminated from receiving the top odds in the NBA Draft Lottery with any combination of 10 more wins or 10 more Cleveland Cavaliers losses.