In a season of ups-and-downs, the Orlando Magic may have visited the deepest valley on Tuesday night. The offensive performance in Boston was about as bad as it gets, but the second half in Charlotte against unquestionably the worst team in the league was simply maddening. The Magic took a five-point halftime lead, but gave up 29 points to the Bobcats in the third quarter as Orlando fell behind by one heading into the final 12 minutes.
It got even worse in the fourth, as the Magic scored just 13 points and the Bobcats cruised to a 100-84 win. Orlando was on the second night of a road back-to-back, so they were expected to have dead legs in the second but should still have enough against the 4-win Bobcats.
Dwight Howard had another double-double, grabbing 17 rebounds and scoring 15 points. But the franchise center was again just three of eight from the free-throw line, one night after missing 10 attempts from the charity stripe. As a team, the Magic shot just 53 percent from the free-throw line and committed 18 turnovers to compound their poor shooting night.
The Magic have little time to lick their wounds, as they stay out on the road and face the best team in the Eastern Conference in Chicago on Thursday night.