CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- The theme all season for the
Let's not forget the old guys.
When the Magic needed to hit big shots in big moments Saturday night, it was the veterans who delivered in a 107-98 win against the
Jameer Nelson and
Move over Kiddie Corps.
"A lot of us have been in this situation and situations in the playoffs," Redick said. "It's nothing new for us. That's what we have to do — guide the ship in crunch time."
And ignore obvious pain.
"We showed composure — composure on the floor, composure in the huddle — and executed the plays," coach
The Magic are still sitting in the draft lottery bin despite a spirited start, but there are no gimmees and few easy nights. Even when the opponent is carrying a losing streak that would make
The Magic fought off
The Magic (10-13) led 88-83 after
The Bobcats (7-16) kept clawing. Walker drained two free throws to cut the deficit to 92-88 and after a Magic turnover, Walker drilled a 3-pointer. Trailing 92-91, Walker then drove in for a lay-up as the Bobcats went ahead.
Walker led all scorers with 32 points while the Magic had five players in double figures. Affalo and Davis had 20 points apiece, Nelson 16 and Redick 14. Nik Vucevic had a double-double, scoring 13 points and adding 13 rebounds.
Orlando shot 54 percent but was ice-cold from the 3-point line (29 percent).
Nelson made it an 8-0 run with a short jumper and then hit a longer one, sending fans home to beat the traffic. He had overcome rare foul trouble to hit 7-of-13 shots.
"We fought through it. Somebody got into foul trouble and needed help," Nelson chuckled.
The Magic, slow-starting for most of the season, seized a first-quarter lead for their second straight game.
Riding 57 percent shooting and nice play-making, the Magic led 29-21 after the opening period, with three players scoring seven points apiece. Orlando headed to the dressing room at halftime, leading 56-48. But Charlotte didn't wilt, going on an 18-6 run to take a 67-66 lead as neither defense could make a stand.
The Magic's Kiddie Corps was on the prowl early. A night after the youngsters were impressive in the club's win against the
But it was the old guys who closed the show.
"I hope you keep seeing old guys …and young guys," Vaughn said. "We need the old guys to show us. This was a tough game for us here. That shows a lot."