Notebook: Magic 105, Hornets 102



Posted Mar 4, 2013 11:55 PM

By Bradley Handwerger, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Orlando Magic outscored the New Orleans Hornets by nine points in the final 2 ½ minutes Monday night and held on to win 105-102. The win halted a three-game losing streak and gave the Magic (17-44) only their third win the past 23 games.

Arron Afflalo scored 17 second-half points to finish with 26 for the game, and Jameer Nelson added 15 points, all in the final 24 minutes. The pair paced the Magic, who found themselves down by 17 early the third quarter to the Hornets (21-40).

Down 98-92 with 2:29 to play after New Orleans' Anthony Davis hit the second of two free throws, Orlando began its comeback with two Afflalo free throws. Maurice Harkless slammed a rebound and Al Harrington drilled a 3-pointer in the corner in front of the Hornets' bench and suddenly the Magic were up 99-98. Greivis Vasquez rattled in a driving layup to give New Orleans a 100-99 lead with just 1:06 to go. Afflalo hit an 11-foot turnaround jumper and three straight free throws to give Orlando the lead for good.

The Hornets had their chances, but 12 turnovers that Orlando turned into 18 points didn't help. And without Jason Smith in the lineup with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, the Hornets couldn't keep the Magic out of the paint, where they were outscored by 14 points. Davis, in his first game back after missing two with a sprained left shoulder, gave the Hornets a boost with 17 points and 15 rebounds, while former Magic forward Ryan Anderson pitched in 13 points off the bench.

QUOTABLE: "Defensively, we were about as poor as I've seen us all year long in the second half. That was one of the worst defensive efforts I've seen as far as executing, and we just messed with the game."

-- Hornets coach Monty Williams on the second half

THE STAT: 62.2 -- That's Orlando's shooting percentage in the second half in the final game of a back-to-back in which the second contest was on the road. The Magic had played in Orlando one night earlier, losing to Houston in a game in which they shot just 39.7 percent and lost by 26 points.

TURNING POINT: The Magic were ahead 103-102 when Afflalo was fouled following a Davis put-back for New Orleans. But, after making the front-end of a 1-and-1, he missed the second. That's when Tobias Harris raced in for the rebound. He made 1 of his 2 free throws, but the extra point forced the Hornets into heaving up a desperation 3-pointer with 1 second to play.

HOT: The Magic's Nelson was held in check during the first 24 minutes. But his 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting in the third quarter helped Orlando come back 17-point deficit to tie the game at 66. Nelson finished the game 6-for-15 and had seven assists.

NOT: Once again, New Orleans' Eric Gordon went quietly into the night after halftime. He led the Hornets with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting in the first half. But in the final two quarters, he was just 2-for-6 for five points in 14 minutes.

NOTABLE: The Hornets entered the game 5-0 on Monday nights and 16-39 on every other day of the week. That streak ended against Orlando. ... The 69 points the Magic scored in the second half were a season high for a New Orleans opponent in either half this season. ... New Orleans tied its season high with 10 blocked shots. ... The win was only Orlando's fifth win in the calendar year 2013.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Wednesday vs. Lakers, Saturday @ Memphis, Sunday vs. Portland. For the Magic, Wednesday @ Miami, Friday vs. Indiana, Sunday vs. Philadelphia.