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A takeaway one could have from the Orlando Magic’s 128-101 Thursday road loss to the Charlotte Hornets?

Don’t be an “escalator.”

Another would be they’re willing to fight for each other — almost literally — despite how roughly the season has gone.

Shortly after Jalen McDaniels fouled R.J. Hampton on a layup attempt midway through the fourth quarter, a squabble between the two teams broke out.

Like most of the league’s scuffles, no punches were thrown, but Robin Lopez and Admiral Schofield were ejected because they were deemed “escalators” in the back and forth. Montrezl Harrell also was ejected.

Lopez came to Hampton’s defense during the altercation, with Schofield backing up Lopez moments later.

Although the outcome wasn’t desired, what coach Jamahl Mosley saw was a team that’s more than willing to stick up for one another in the midst of a season that’ll end with the Magic having one of the league’s bottom-two records.

“The one message we’ll continue to have is us sticking together and fighting for one another,” Mosley said. “We hang our hats on being a together team, holding each other accountable and keeping each other tight.”

It’d be easy — and in some ways understandable — for players to not have the same motivation from game to game as they had earlier in the season.

With Thursday’s loss, the Magic (21-60) are guaranteed to finish with one of the league’s worst two records along with the Houston Rockets, who played the Toronto Raptors Friday.

But the players aren’t treating the season’s final stretch as pointless.

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Jalen Suggs returned from a right ankle injury with three games left in the season and battles to stay in games even when limping with an apparent lower-body injury.

Markelle Fultz is ramping up his production and minutes after returning from his torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in late February.

Ignas Brazdeikis continues to make a case for why he should be an on NBA roster next season.

It’s unknown how the Magic will look for Sunday’s season finale vs. the Miami Heat at Amway Center.

Franz Wagner (sprained right ankle), Cole Anthony (sprained left toe) and Wendell Carter Jr. (sprained left wrist) sat Thursday with injuries while Mo Bamba left midway through the first quarter because of a sprained right ankle.

But regardless of who’s available, Mosley’s message to the team is clear.

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“I want our guys to continue to stay together,” Mosley said, “fighting for one another and stay the course.”

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.

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