Hornets blow out Magic 109-88 for 3rd straight victory
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Nic Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each had 16 points, and the Charlotte Hornets routed the Orlando Magic 109-88 on Friday night for their third straight victory.
Kemba Walker had 15 points in limited action, and Ramon Sessions and Jeremy Lamb each scored 12 off the bench as the Southeast Division-leading Hornets (14-9) shot 48 percent from the field.
Batum missed out on a chance at a triple-double because Charlotte's starters didn't play in the fourth quarter with the game out of hand. He finished with nine rebounds and seven assists.
Evan Fournier had 14 points for the Magic (10-14), who have lost two straight following a three-game winning streak.
With a road game at Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland on Saturday night, this easily could have been a classic trap game for Charlotte.
But the Hornets took all the drama out of it in the third quarter.
They opened a 52-46 lead at halftime behind a late second-quarter push led by Kidd-Gilchrist, who 14 points at the break on 6-of-8 shooting after a rough night from the field Wednesday against Detroit. Charlotte pushed the lead to 21 late in the third period as Walker began to heat up, beating defenders off the dribble with his quickness and knocking down jumpers.
Magic: Fournier was assessed a technical foul in the first half for arguing a call. ... Nikola Vucevic played despite a right corneal abrasion and had seven points in 22 minutes. ... Elfrid Payton had six assists, his 14th game this season with at least five. ... Orlando went 9 of 34 on 3-point attempts.
Hornets: Have beaten the Magic four consecutive times. ... Walker has finished in double digits in every game this season. ... Batum's streak of double-doubles ended at three games.
Magic: Orlando returns home to host the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
Hornets: Charlotte makes another trip to Cleveland to take on the defending champion Cavaliers on Saturday night. The Hornets lost 100-93 at Cleveland earlier this season.