(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets are back home Friday night and will try to halt a three-game losing streak when the Orlando Magic visit The Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Hornets have dropped five of the last seven, but the current three-game slide started in Phoenix, included a 27-point home setback to the Dallas Mavericks and culminated with a two-point loss at Indiana on Wednesday night.
Lance Stephenson's return to Indianapolis was spoiled when Solomon Hill's putback as time expired gave Indiana an 88-86 victory over the Hornets.
Luis Scola had finished off a three-point play with 1:28 to go that drew the Pacers even. Stephenson and Marvin Williams both missed jumpers which would have given the visitors the lead once more.
Rodney Stuckey got the ball as time wound down and hit the rim, but Hill alertly tapped it home at the buzzer.
"We lost the game in Portland because we weren't physical enough, and it happened again tonight," Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said of blocking out opponents under the boards. "We've got to have everybody ready. If we're not physical, we're not winning these games."
Al Jefferson's game-best 28 points weren't enough for the Hornets, who play four of their next five at home. Kemba Walker picked up 12 points and Stephenson had 10 in a losing cause.
This will be Charlotte's first action since forward Jeffrey Taylor was suspended 24 games by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after pleading guilty to a domestic assault charge. Taylor may still appeal the suspension.
The Magic fell in their most recent appearance on the hardwood, a 114-90 setback at home to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
The third quarter proved to be the difference as Orlando's eight-point halftime deficit turned into a 16-point hill to climb. LA shot 60 percent from the field during that 12-minute stretch after the break.
"We have to get that consistency," said Magic forward Channing Frye.
In a battle of the league's top rebounders, Nikola Vucevic out-rebounded DeAndre Jordan 14-11. Vucevic chipped in 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting for Orlando and Tobias Harris had a game-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting in the loss.
Frye and Andrew Nicholson both finished with 10 in the losing effort.
Evan Fournier sat out the game with a heel injury and is listed as questionable for Friday night. He is listed in the team's starting lineup.
The two Southeast rivals split four meetings last season, but the Hornets have won five of the last seven matchups. Orlando is 2-3 in Charlotte over its last five.