ORLANDO, Fla. — Center Nikola Vucevic scored 24 points and pulled down 23 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic to a 110-105 overtime win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Guard Arron Afflalo scored 17 points and forward Tobias Harris added 15 each for the Magic, who have won back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 9. Rookie guard Victor Oladipo had 14 points and guard Jameer Nelson finished with 11 points and eight assists.
Charlotte got 24 points apiece from forward Josh McRoberts and guard Kemba Walker. The Bobcats put all five starters in double figures, but couldn’t hold an early 16-point lead or protect a 3-point lead in the final 10 seconds of regulation.
Charlotte took a 97-94 lead after Walker’s driving layup with 14 seconds left in regulation, but the Bobcats left Afflalo wide open behind the 3-point line and he buried the jumper to tie the game with 7.4 seconds to go.
Walker could have won it, but his 15-foot jumper rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.
Center Al Jefferson finished with 20 points for the Bobcats. Guard Gerald Henderson had 14 and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 10.
The Magic were down 83-74 early in the fourth quarter before scoring seven straight points to cut the deficit to 83-81 after two free throws by O’Quinn with 9:47 left in the game. Oladipo tied the game at 87 with a breakaway layup and two possessions later, Vucevic drilled an 18-foot jumper to give Orlando its first lead of the game, 91-89 with 4:46 left in the game.
Orlando, which allowed Charlotte to hit nine of its first 11 shots to start the game, returned the favor to start the second half, hitting nine of its first 11. O’Quinn hit his first four shots and Vucevic hit three as the Magic trimmed a nine-point halftime deficit to 59-58 with just over seven minutes left in the period.
The Magic’s defense wasn’t quite as sharp. They left McRoberts wide open behind the 3-point line on the next two Charlotte possessions and the Bobcats forward buried both to stop the rally. Henderson and Jefferson joined in with three more perimeter jumpers and the Bobcats lead was back up to 75-64. Charlotte finished the quarter with an 81-72 lead.
The Bobcats used a hot-shooting start to build as much as a 16-point lead in the first quarter, but their shot selection and percentage cooled quickly enough for the Magic to trim their deficit to 43-39 with 1:31 left in the half. Charlotte finished the half on a 7-2 run to take a 50-41 lead at intermission.
McRoberts was a reflection of the Bobcats’ half offensively, hitting his first four 3-point shots of the game but not getting anything else to fall on his way to 12 points. Jefferson had 10 points, but the Bobcats bench was 2-for-9 and got only three rebounds between the five subs who played.
The Magic, meanwhile, could not find any energy and 11 first-half turnovers did not help. Vucevic had 16 rebounds at halftime, seven at the offensive end, but most of those were his own missed shots. He was just four of 14 from the field, contributing to 36.6 percent (15-of-41) shooting in the first half for Orlando.
The Bobcats hit nine of their first 11 shots from the floor, including all four 3-pointers to jump off to a 22-10 lead. McRoberts and Walker each had two 3-pointers as Charlotte took advantage of a lifeless Magic defense that offered plenty of space and time to Bobcats shooters.
NOTES: Magic PG Jameer Nelson returned to the starting lineup after missing four games with a sore knee. … Charlotte is 12-7 since the All-Star break, the third-best record in the East during that time. … The Magic are 0-33 this season when getting outrebounded. … Magic reserve G E’Twaun Moore is 2-for-18 from the field in his last four games.
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