Set to play their next three games on the road, the Bobcats opening homestand with a victory tonight. However, with the Magic in town, history states that is easier said than done.
Charlotte will look to record just its second victory in its past 13 meetings with division-rival Orlando, but will have a slight advantage with the Magic having played last night.
On the other hand, the Bobcats enjoyed an off day on Thursday, one day after a heart-breaking 96-95 loss to the Miami Heat. Gerald Henderson had nailed a three-pointer with 12 seconds left to put Charlotte in front by one, but Miami's Dwyane Wade nailed a short jumper with 2.9 ticks left on the clock.
Henderson ended with 21 points, D.J. Augustin added 20 and six assists despite a sore ankle and Boris Diaw scored 16 points while matching a career high with 16 rebounds. Diaw also recorded eight assists for a Bobcats club that was coming off a win over Milwaukee on Monday to begin its season-opening three- game homestand.
Charlotte led 60-45 at the half, but netted just 10 points in the third quarter and turned the ball over 12 times.
"We just have to learn from this loss," said rookie Kemba Walker, who had 14 points. "We didn't take care of the basketball like we should have."
The Bobcats were swept by the Magic in four games a season ago, dropping a 111-102 overtime decision in the last meeting at Charlotte on April 6. The Bobcats are just 8-20 all-time versus the Magic and have lost six straight as the host in this series.
Orlando, though, could have some tired legs after last night's 94-78 victory over the Nets. It may also be without point guard Jameer Nelson after he left the game in the third quarter with neck spasms.
Taking on one of the teams that courted him this offseason, Dwight Howard scored 16 points and was two shy of his career high with 24 rebounds. Ryan Anderson added a game-high 22 points for Orlando, which won two straight at home following a season-opening loss in Oklahoma City on Christmas Day.
"I thought through the first 19 minutes of the game, we played very well," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "The last five minutes of the half, we didn't defend, but I thought we were very consistent in the second half."
Jason Richardson chipped in 16 points and J.J. Redick, a former star at nearby Duke, had 15 points off the bench.