Denton: Magic vs. Pelicans Analysis (1/26/14)
Orlando finished the third period with a flurry to get within 75-69 by the start of the fourth. A 3-pointer from Afflalo and two layups by Nelson – both of them things of beauty to avoid Davis’ long-armed reach – to trim the deficit.
Orlando had to play from behind much of the third quarter because of their struggles on the glass. The Pelicans had seven offensive rebounds in the third quarter alone, resulting in six second-chance points.
The night started well enough for the Magic, who moved the ball well in the early going and led by three in the opening minutes. But things quickly fell apart as Davis began asserting himself on both ends of the floor, allowing the Pelicans to take a 54-44 halftime lead.
Davis dominated the game in several phases early on with 10 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. The NBA’s shot-block leader swatted two 3-pointers early on and had his three-block average by the first quarter.
Nelson and Afflalo scored eight and 10 first-half points, but Nelson’s production came only after he had missed his first four shots. Orlando trailed by as many as 16 points late in the first half, but it rallied in the closing minutes of the first half when Davis went to the bench with foul trouble. A 3-pointer and a floater in the lane by Nelson and a traditional three-point play by Davis – a bucket that came after Vaughn stopped a sequence to call for a specific play – allowed Orlando to get with 10 by halftime.
Vaughn said it will be up to his team to correct the rebounding issues and the turnover problems before Wednesday’s game against Detroit, one of the NBA’s best rebounding teams with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.
``Overall, the majority of (New Orleans’) points came from things that we can handle ourselves,’’ Vaughn said. ``Those three things (offensive rebounds, turnovers and opponents free throws) all can be handled by ourselves.’’
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