Hornets, Magic battle in Orlando

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

(SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams will take losing streaks into battle Saturday night when the Charlotte Hornets visit Amway Center to take on the Orlando Magic.

The Hornets have dropped five straight amid injury problems. Lance Stephenson has missed weeks with a strained pelvis, while Al Jefferson will be gone for close to a month with a strained left groin.

Their slide reached five on Friday night with a 91-87 home loss to LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers. Charlotte has lost two consecutive games as the visitor.

Gerald Henderson paced the Hornets with 14 points, Michael Kidd-Glichrist tallied 12 points with 10 rebounds and Gary Neal added 11 off the bench. Kemba Walker and Marvin Williams both scored 10 in the loss.

Both teams shot poorly, but Cleveland committed only seven turnovers. Charlotte had 15 miscues, which isn't an astronomical figure, but the Cavs turned those turnovers into 23 points.

"A realistic place for us to get to every night is to the mid-90s" in points, said Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford. "I think our defense can get good enough that the mid-90s can win and it was good enough tonight, except for the beginning of the third quarter when we fell asleep."

Starting Saturday, the Hornets play four of their next five on the road.

The Magic have dropped two straight, both at home. They'll close their homestand Saturday before heading west for four games, starting Wednesday in Denver.

Orlando started the rut with a 23-point home loss to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. On Friday, the Magic were game, but fell to the Brooklyn Nets, 100-98.

Late in the third quarter, the Nets led by as many as 26, but they had to survive a furious fourth-quarter comeback. Orlando outscored Brooklyn 37-14 in the final period and cut its deficit down to one possession, but it could not hit a tying or go-ahead shot in the game's final minute.

Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 17 points despite not taking a shot in the final quarter. Elfrid Payton scored 16 points, handed out 10 assists and pulled down nine boards.

Orlando also got 14 points from Ben Gordon and 12 apiece from Tobias Harris and Evan Fournier.

With 31.9 seconds left, Gordon missed a baseline jumper that would have pulled the Magic within one, and Fournier followed that with a missed 3 after a Nets turnover gave Orlando life.

Joe Johnson hit his free throws the following possession, and they proved to be crucial. With three seconds left, Payton hit a 3-pointer after grabbing an offensive rebound, but Orlando was unable to foul to stop the clock as the game ended.

"I just think we talked about in the huddle, just continuing to play," said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn. "That group out there played really well together. They were feisty, they were competitive and had no quit in them. It was good to see."

Orlando won both meetings this season, both of which took place in Charlotte. The Magic's victory at home on Mar. 28 halted a three-game home losing streak to their Southeast Division foes.