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Rookie Malik Monk had the best night of his young career and
it didn’t matter to him that it came against a Magic team that featured almost
as many G League players as NBA regulars.

Monk scored a season-high 26 points Blaine
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 , Frank Kaminsky added 21 and the Charlotte Hornets
routed outmanned Orlando 137-100 on Friday night.

Monk, the Hornets’ backup point guard, also tied his career high with eight
assists against a makeshift Magic team that gave prominent roles in the game to
four call-ups from its G League team.

”I’m going out there to play like I don’t have a spot every time I step on
the court,” Monk said.

”I don’t think it’s ever going to get any better than that. You know they had
G League guys because of the scouting report, but I’m going out there to play
like it’s LeBron (James), Russell Westbrook, anybody like that.”

Marvin Williams scored 18 points and Dwight Howard had 16 points and 17
rebounds for the Hornets Boone
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 , who stopped a four-game losing streak. Charlotte led
by 24 points two minutes into the second quarter and pushed the advantage to as
many as 45 in the second half despite benching all starters for the final
period.

”Malik was really cooking in terms of decision making . eight assists, one
turnover and he easily could have had three or four more assists,” Charlotte
coach Steve Clifford said. ”We shot the ball so well and when you shoot like
that, it makes everything else look better, too.”

D.J. Augustin led Orlando with 19 points and Marreese Speights had 14 for the
Magic, who prominently featured four players off their G League roster in the
game. Three of them, Khem Birch Eddie
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 , Jamel Artis and Rodney Purvis, each had 12
points.

The Magic were down by double digits seven minutes into the game and never
got the deficit under 10 the rest of the game.

”Very difficult, disappointing performance by us,” Magic coach Frank Vogel
said. ”Our four young guys got opportunities to play extended minutes and earn
jobs and they didn’t take advantage of that opportunity. We didn’t play well by
a long shot.”

The Hornets’ regular roster had a field day against Orlando’s makeshift
rotation. Charlotte’s NBA regulars were crisp in their offensive execution and
coordinated in defending against a Magic starting five that hadn’t played
together this season.

Charlotte led 51-27 after Kaminsky drained a 3-pointer with 10:14 left in the
second period. The Hornets had their pick of shots on nearly every possession
against the confused Magic defenders.

Charlotte shot 56.5 percent from the field in the first half and hit half of
its 16 3-point shots.

Howard, who started his career in Orlando, had 12 points and nine rebounds in
16 minutes of the first half against his former team. All four of Howard’s
first-half field goals were dunks over Magic big men Bismack Biyombo and
Birch.

TIP-INS

Hornets: The 43 points the Hornets scored in the first quarter were the
second-most points they’ve scored in any quarter this season. . Charlotte had
given up 118.5 points in its previous five games.

Magic: F Artis got his first NBA start and shot 5 of 12. . Leading scorer
Aaron Gordon (calf) and leading rebounder Nikola Vucevic (back) sat out the
game. . The Magic have not beaten division rival Charlotte since Dec. 15,
2015 Aaron
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 , a stretch of 11 games.

NO DEFENSE FOR HORNETS SEASON

Clifford said that before the season, he thought this was his most talented
team but the Hornets haven’t lived up to it. ”I thought we could be a top-five
defensive team, but instead, this has been our worst defensive team,” Clifford
said. ”I thought we could be top-five defensive and top 12 on offense and that
usually would be about 45 or 46 wins. We’ll be close to that offensively, but
our defense hasn’t been anywhere close to where it was in other years.”

TOP PICK DONE

Vogel all but confirmed that Jonathan Isaac, the sixth pick in last summer’s
NBA Draft Reynaldo
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 , is done for the season. Vogel said Isaac has
swelling and discomfort in his left ankle. Isaac has missed 52 games this season
because of ankle injuries. ”Unless he turns a corner, there is a good chance he
doesn’t play again this year,” Vogel said. ”The emphasis of his offseason will
be to strengthen his lower extremities.” Isaac averaged 5.4 points and 3.7
rebounds in the 27 games he did play. ”I wasn’t out the entire season,” Isaac
said. ”I was still able to contribute and help the team win some games. To me,
that’s better than not doing it at all.”image

Hornets: Host Indiana Sunday afternoon.

Magic: Travel to Toronto Sunday night.

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