Facing his old team for the first time since being ousted as the head coach after the 2017-2018 season, Steve Clifford hoped he could guide Orlando to a 2-0 start. Instead, the Charlotte Hornets made sure to give their old bench boss a reminder that they’re still a solid team without his services.

The Magic has a rough night shooting from beyond the 3-point arc, going 6-of-31 (19 percent) and ended up falling in a blowout 120-88 to the Hornets Friday night at the Amway Center. Orlando falls to 1-1 on the season after winning its home opener against the Miami Heat. The Magic take the court again tomorrow night when they face the Philadelphia 76ers on the road. The game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip at the Wells Fargo Center.

After a strong performance against the Heat on Wednesday night, the Magic followed it up with a stinker versus the Hornets. Charlotte (1-1) lost its opener against the Milwaukee Bucks despite a 41-point performance from point guard Kemba Walker. This time around, the Hornets didn’t need a large scoring effort from Walker, but a more balanced attack.

Walker ended up leading the team with 26 points and teammate Nicholas Batum chipped in 15. It was a putrid offensive display of basketball for Orlando, as the team’s leading scorer ended up being Terrance Ross off the bench with 14 points. Quiet was power forward Aaron Gordon, who only managed five points on 2-of-9 shooting and snagged 10 rebounds.

The only starters for Orlando to finish in double digits was Center Nikola Vucevic (12 points) and shooting guard Evan Fournier (12 points). Rookie Mo Bamba finished with zero points on 0-of-4 shooting in 19 minutes.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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