Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/15/12
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jacque Vaughn senses that the Orlando Magic is growing before his very eyes, and he's happy with what he sees. The Magic dominated the final four minutes to pull out a 107-98 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night, and Vaughn called it another step in the right direction for his young team. Orlando (10-13) trailed 93-92 with 4:09 remaining, but went on an 8-0 run at that point and wound up outscoring the Bobcats 15-5 in the final four minutes. "We showed composure," Vaughn said. "Our huddle was composed, our players were composed, and I think it showed on the floor. We drew up plays and guys executed them, and it was great to see. It's great to see the process and see our guys improving." Added forward Glen Davis: "It just shows that we're learning. We're getting better as a team. We're holding ourself accountable to win the games that we need to win. This is a new team and we're finding each other. We're still learning the things we need to do. This tonight was a learning point from our past experiences." The win was the Magic's third in the last four games. It capped a weekend sweep after the Magic beat Golden State 99-85 in Orlando on Friday night. "It's been a real good weekend, but that's maturity," Davis said. "You think about teams that come in on the back end of a back-to-back, and they've just won a big game, sometimes the level of play can go down. But tonight was a good night for us to build on, and we did that." Davis and Arron Affalo led the Magic with 20 points apiece. Jameer Nelson battled foul trouble in the second half but finished with 16 points and six assists. J.J. Redick scored 14, including a clutch 3-pointer in the 8-0 run at the end, and Nikola Vucevic finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Magic shot 54.4 percent from the field and finished with 60 points in the paint -- a number that pleased Vaughn. "The points in the paint, I think it shows our aggression and our ability to create for each other, and now the defense doesn't know if they should be stopping the basketball or stopping another player," Vaughn said. "We did a lot of good things tonight. Some shots we turned down, we made them great instead of good. We went from good to great tonight, which was fun to see." The Magic led by as many as 10 in the first half and 11 in the second half, but found themselves trailing 93-92 after Kemba Walker's fast-break basket with 4:09 remaining. Affalo hit a 12-footer on Orlando's next possession to retake the lead. Then Davis hit one free throw, Redick nailed a 3-pointer and Nelson hit a floater in the lane, good for a 100-93 lead. The Bobcats missed four consecutive shots and had a turnover in the same stretch. Charlotte never got closer than four again. "The culprit tonight was defense," Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap said. "When you give up 54 percent from the floor and they're getting over 100 regularly, we know where the culprit is." The Bobcats fell to 7-16 and lost their 11th in a row. Walker led the way with a career-high 32 points. Gerald Henderson finished with 16, Ramon Sessions scored 14, and Byron Mullens added 12. "It's tough," Walker said. "Nobody likes losing. It's all on us. I think we still are having too many slow starts. We have to pick it up from the tipoff. "We've got to get more intense, we've got to get our energy back. It's tough to bring that energy every night but that's what you have to do to win." NOTES: The Bobcats' losing streak started on Nov. 26 in a 114-69 loss at Oklahoma City. The franchise record stands at 23 straight, to close out last season. ... Henderson returned to the starting lineup Saturday night for the first time since the second game of the season. ... The Bobcats will hit the road for their first Western road trip of the season, starting at the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. They'll also visit Phoenix, Golden State and Denver. ... The Magic continue to be without Al Harrington and Hedo Turkoglu. Harrington (right knee injury) has no timetable for his return as he rehabs. Turkoglu (broken left hand) had surgery on Nov. 3 and has had his cast removed. He could be back in the next week. ... The Magic's Maurice Harkless played for Dunlap last season when the two were at St. John's. Dunlap stepped up to interim coach while Steve Lavin battled cancer.
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