Preview: Magic riding high heading into matchup against Hornets

TV: FOX Sports Florida

TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 5:30 p.m.


Coming off one of their most impressive performances in recent years, the Orlando Magic will try to ride the momentum to a fourth straight win when they visit the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night.

The Magic completed a two-game homestand with one of the most eye-catching results in the NBA this season Friday night, a 114-87 blowout of the San Antonio Spurs.

Evan Fournier led the way with 25 points, 12 of which coming on 4-for-4 3-point shooting. But the Magic was nearly equally efficient inside and out, recording 58 points from the perimeter and 56 from inside the paint against the perennially stingy Spurs.

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"I'm impressed with how we're playing offensively," Magic coach Frank Vogel gushed after the win. "Nobody is forcing things at the rim. Nobody's forcing it on the perimeter, and as a result, we're getting better and better looks on each possession. That's why you're seeing the offense clicking the way it's clicking."

Orlando's 4-1 start also includes a 114-93 stunner at Cleveland. The Magic won just 29 games last season.

Saturday's game opens a four-day three-game trip that will continue through New Orleans and Memphis.

The Magic will encounter an old pal in the opener of the trip, one who's playing at a very high level these days.

Center Dwight Howard, who played the first eight years of his NBA career in Orlando, is now with his fifth team.

The first five games as a Hornet have gone quite well, with Howard averaging 14.4 points and 17.4 rebounds. He has snatched at least 15 rebounds in all five of his games, a first in Charlotte history.

Despite getting 19 points and 16 rebounds from Howard, the Hornets are coming off a 109-93 home loss to Houston on Friday. But they are expected to get another productive big man, Cody Zeller, back from a bruised right knee on Sunday.

Zeller contributed a total of 40 points, 25 rebounds, eight assists and five blocked shots when the Hornets dominated the Magic last season, sweeping the four-game series by an average of 21.8 points per game.

Without Zeller in the lineup, the Hornets have slipped defensively this season, having allowed 100 or more points in three of their five games.

They are 0-3 when giving up 100 or more, 2-0 when limiting the opposition to 99 or fewer.

The problem: The club has alternated its good and bad defensive performances, with the result being alternating losses and wins.

"There are still too many mistakes," Zeller observed from the bench. "We have shown flashes of things to come -- that we can be one of the better defensive teams in the league."

Continuing the pattern, the Hornets tipped off their current three-game homestand with a 110-93 win over Denver. But they followed that by allowing the Rockets to make 22 3-pointers in Friday's loss.

The Magic, meanwhile, have hit nearly 50 percent of its shots this season, up from 44 percent last year.

Orlando buried 57.1 percent of its attempts, including 47.8 percent of its 3-pointers, in Friday's win over San Antonio.