Hayward breaks late tie, scores 39 points to lead Hornets

Published 9:59 pm Sunday, January 24, 2021

By John Denton

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Gordon Hayward broke a tie with a layup with 0.7 seconds left and scored 39 points in the Charlotte Hornets’ 107-104 comeback victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday night.

Hayward beat Evan Fournier off the dribble and made the left-handed layup after Orlando’s Terrence Ross tied it with a 3-pointer with 8.7 seconds to play.

The teams will meet again Monday night in Orlando.

Charlotte ended a four-game losing streak, overcoming a 14-point deficit to improve to 7-9. Down the entire second and third quarters, the Hornets opened the fourth with a 25-4 run — making nine of their first 14 shots. Orlando missed 12 of its first 13 shots in the period.

Hayward had his fourth 30-point game of the season. He was 15 of 25 from the field, 5 of 8 on 3-pointers and also had nine rebounds — the biggest one coming with 32 seconds remaining and the Hornets clinging to a 104-101 lead. Miles Bridges added 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

The Magic lost for an eighth time in nine games to fall to 7-10.

Nikola Vucevic topped the 10,000-point mark for his career early in the night and finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando. Evan Fournier scored 21 points, rookie point guard Cole Anthony and Gary Clark each had 14.

The Magic were without forward Aaron Gordon because of hip and back soreness.


Hornets: Not only do Charlotte and Orlando know each other well from playing four times a season, but there is also plenty of crossover on the coaching staffs. Charlotte coach James Borrego was a Magic assistant from 2012-15 and he was 10-20 as the franchise’s interim coach at the end of the 2014-15 NBA season. Magic head coach Steve Clifford and most of his staff led the Hornets from 2013-18 prior to arriving in Orlando.

Magic: Orlando will be home for seven of the next eight games with the one road game being a short bus ride to Tampa to face the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 31.