EditorsNote: Added that Walker’s five 3s were game-high in 5th graf; fixed typo for apiece in 6th graf
Kemba Walker scored 26 points, all in the first three quarters, and the Charlotte Hornets continued their mastery over the host Orlando Magic with a dominant 120-88 victory on Friday night.
The Hornets put together a 16-2 run midway through the first quarter to take immediate control and went on to lead by 22 in the second quarter and 51-31 at halftime. The lead grew to 31 in the third quarter and ultimately was at 37 after the starters all began resting.
The victory was the Hornets’ first of the season and the first for new coach James Borrego, after Charlotte had fallen 113-112 at home to Milwaukee in Wednesday’s opener. The victory also came at the expense of Magic coach Steve Clifford, who coached the Hornets the last five seasons before being let go last spring.
Charlotte has now beaten Orlando 12 straight times dating to 2015, a franchise record for the Hornets against any opponent.
Walker followed up a 41-point effort in the loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday with another sterling performance. He hit a game-high five 3-pointers.
Nicolas Batum and Miles Bridges added 15 points apiece for the Hornets, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist came off the bench for 12 and Malik Monk scored 11.
The Hornets held the Magic to 38.3 percent shooting from the field and 19.4 percent (6-for-31) from 3-point range.
Terrence Ross led the Magic with 14 points in 19 minutes off the bench. Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier scored 12 each, but Aaron Gordon, who scored 26 in a win over Miami on Wednesday, was just 2 of 9 from the field for five points.
Charlotte led 22-10 after one quarter, as the Magic shot just 20.8 percent from the field. After holding a 20-point lead at halftime, the Hornets were up 82-54 entering the fourth quarter.
The Hornets were opening a four-game road trip. They will play at Miami on Saturday night.
The Magic will travel to Philadelphia on Saturday.
—Field Level Media