Nickeil Alexander-Walker dribbles vs. James Ennis

Entergy postgame wrap: Magic 133, Pelicans 127

Magic (33-40, 8th in East), Pelicans (30-42, 13th in West)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

The final regular season game of 2019-20 for New Orleans was a microcosm of what hampered the Pelicans in losses throughout the campaign. Despite a strong performance offensively Thursday, New Orleans couldn’t overcome early turnovers and the opposition scoring too easily. For the third time in eight games on the NBA campus, the Pelicans allowed 77-plus points in the opening half, creating a hole that was too large to make a second-half comeback feasible.

On the plus side, New Orleans saw several young players generate quality performances, with two guards topping their career high in scoring.

“We talked about the fact that everything has got to be a learning situation,” fifth-year head coach Alvin Gentry said. “I thought they competed at a real high level. Once again, I think our defense let us down. We’ve got to get back defensively to where we were before the hiatus (in mid-March). And we will. We’ve got a bunch of great veteran guys and some young guys who want to learn.”

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Orlando’s Wes Iwundu drained a three-pointer with two-plus minutes remaining, giving the Magic a 10-point lead, after the Pelicans made a push in the fourth quarter. Orlando used a 43-30 edge in the second period to build a 16-point halftime lead.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Frank Jackson wrapped up a nice stretch of games in the bubble, showing improved confidence and poise along the way. Jackson’s career high in scoring featured him pouring in 31 points, including 21 in the second half. Nickeil Alexander-Walker also had his best NBA game points-wise, dropping in a late layup to notch 29.

Josh Hart finished his first season with New Orleans in strong fashion, registering a double-double by supplying 23 points and 14 rebounds.

BY THE NUMBERS

13/18: Orlando three-point shooting in the first half. Combined with only three turnovers prior to intermission, the Magic were dominant and efficient offensively.

55.2: New Orleans shooting percentage from the field. That represented only the second time all season that the Pelicans shot 55 percent or better and still lost. The other such defeat occurred exactly a week ago vs. Sacramento, a 140-125 loss.

11/18: Pelicans reserves shooting from the floor. Two-way contract player Zylan Cheatham went 4/4.

9-2: Orlando’s record vs. New Orleans in the last 11 meetings. The Magic have enjoyed an uncanny amount of head-to-head success against the Pelicans, in particular center Nikola Vucevic (23 points on 10/11 shooting).

Jaxson Hayes postgame interview (8/13/20) | Pelicans-Magic

New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the Orlando Magic on August 13, 2020.

NBA Restart Game #8: Pelicans vs. Magic 8/13/20

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Jaxson Hayes postgame interview (8/13/20) | Pelicans-Magic

New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the Orlando Magic on August 13, 2020.
Aug 13, 2020  |  02:15

Alvin Gentry postgame interview (8/13/20) | Pelicans-Magic

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the Orlando Magic on August 13, 2020.
Aug 13, 2020  |  05:04

Nickeil Alexander-Walker postgame interview (8/13/20) | Pelicans-Magic

New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the Orlando Magic on August 13, 2020.
Aug 13, 2020  |  03:03

Nickeil Alexander-Walker with 29 points | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Highlights from Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker after his 29 point performance vs. the Orlando Magic (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  01:59

Stingy defense late in the 4th | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Nickeil Alexander-Walker gets the steal and finds Zylan Cheatham for the dunk, with Josh Hart getting the block on the next play vs Orlando (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:20

Zylan Cheatham steal and slam | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans forward Zylan Cheatham with the steal and slam vs. the Orlando Magic (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:19

Nickeil drives for the tough and-1 | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker with the tough finish vs. the Orlando Magic (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:23

Frank Jackson and-1 floater | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Frank Jackson with the and-1 floater in the paint vs the Orlando Magic (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:17

Frank Jackson dime to Jaxson for the slam | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes finishing with the salm vs the Orlando Magic (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:15

Frank Jackson back-to-back buckets to start the 2nd half | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Frank Jackson starting the 2nd half hot vs the Orlando Magic (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:23

Jaxson Hayes defending the paint | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes with the nice block vs the Orlando Magic (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:15

Pelicans vs. Magic 1st quarter Highlights (8/13/20)

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic first quarter highlights (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  01:45

Jahlil Okafor big time dunk | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor slamming it home vs the Orlando Magic (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:32

NAW to Jaxson alley-oop slam | Pelicans-Magic Highlights

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes finishing the nice alley-oop from Nickeil Alexander-Walker vs. the Orlando Magic (8/13/20).
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:15

Get HYPE: Pelicans vs. Magic | NBA seeding games in Orlando

Pelicans and Magic face off at 8:00 PM CT on Thursday, August 13 for their 2019-2020 season finale. Tune in to Fox Sports New Orleans and get hype courtesy of SeatGeek!
Aug 13, 2020  |  00:31

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