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Pro Basketball

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The buzz is back

Hornets beat Magic for seventh win in 11 games

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Posted: Friday March 26, 1999 11:36 PM

  Elden Campbell helped recharge the Hornets with six points during a crucial run late in the game. AP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Orlando Magic became the latest team to find out just how happy Elden Campbell is to no longer be with the Lakers.

Relegated to playing about 18 minutes a game while backing up Shaquille O'Neal in Los Angeles, Campbell has seen his minutes more than double since he was traded to Charlotte in a five-player deal earlier this month. He has responded with consistent scoring and rebounding, and on Friday night, he had his biggest contribution yet, rescuing the Hornets after they blew a 22-point lead against Orlando.

"He's very confident right now. He's responding," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said after Campbell powered a late run that helped the Hornets defeat the Magic 90-82 for their seventh consecutive home victory.

Campbell had six points and a block as the Hornets closed the game with a 12-4 run, giving them their seventh victory in 11 games since Silas took over following the resignation of Dave Cowens.

"I just want to do what I can to make the Hornets feel good about their decision to trade for me, to prove these guys right," said Campbell, who finished with 24 points, six rebounds and five blocks.

Charlotte, winning for the fifth time in six games, got double-figure scoring from five players, including 17 from Eddie Jones and 15 from Derrick Coleman.

The Hornets shot 70 percent in the first quarter, helping build a 38-16 lead early in the second. Orlando erased the deficit with a 19-2 run bridging the third and fourth quarters.

The Magic tied it twice, the last time at 78-all on a short jumper by Nick Anderson with 3:54 left.

Campbell started the decisive run with two free throws and added a reverse layup as Charlotte built an 83-78 lead. Orlando got no closer than four the rest of the way.

"Elden has something to prove, I think, that he can be a very competent center on a good team," said Silas, whose team improved to 5-3 since the trade that sent Campbell and Jones to the Hornets in exchange for Glen Rice and two others.

Anderson finished with 17 points to lead the Magic. Orlando rookie Matt Harpring matched his season high with 16 points but was scoreless in the fourth quarter. Anfernee Hardaway, Orlando's No. 2 scorer, did not get his first points until the third quarter and finished with eight on 3-for-11 shooting.

"Our first group struggled. They looked flat and tired," Orlando coach Chuck Daly said. "The Hornets came out alive and made shots. We were outshot and outrebounded, and we didn't contest shots. Maybe we learned a lesson."

The Hornets hit eight of their first nine field-goal attempts, opening the game with a 21-6 run that helped them to a 20-point lead after the first quarter. Charlotte outscored the Magic 12-0 on fast-break points in the quarter and got eight of its 14 baskets on layups or dunks.

Things went so well for the Hornets early that even when they did something bad, they salvaged something good, as evidenced by one offensive possession midway through the second quarter. Eldridge Recasner missed a dunk, but teammate Brad Miller got the rebound. Recasner rushed out to the right wing, took a pass from Miller and swished a 3-pointer.

Notes: The crowd of 21,698 included Hornets owner George Shinn, who rarely attends games anymore. Shinn recently moved to Florida and is the defendant in a sexual misconduct lawsuit in South Carolina. ... Charlotte small forward Bobby Phills left with a groin pull early in the fourth quarter and did not return. ... Orlando has lost four of six to the Hornets, whose victory evened the series 17-17. ... The game was stopped several times after confetti fell from the rafters near the basket in front of the Hornets' bench. Charlotte Coliseum officials said the confetti was left over from a Rolling Stones concert last weekend.

 
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