Hornets 85, Magic 80: Orlando loses 21-point, third-quarter lead in preseason opener

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Orlando Magic began a new era in franchise history losing to the New Orleans Hornets, 85-80, in Mexico City to open the preseason.

Three players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by reserve point guard E'Twaun Moore with 16 points and 7 assists. Moore played 27 minutes, the most of any Magic player. Power forward Glen Davis added 13 points with 5 rebounds, and center Gustavo Ayon, playing in his native Mexico, scored 12 points with 6 rebounds.

Guard Brian Roberts led the Hornets with 17 points, and number one draft pick, power forward Anthony Davis, added 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Former Magic power forward Ryan Anderson had a miserable debut with his new team, scoring 3 points on 1 of 11 shooting, including 1 of 8 on 3s.

Both teams struggled from the field, with the Magic shooting 37.5%, including 4 of 21 (19%) on 3s. The Hornets shot 37.2%, including 27.3% on 3s. Turnovers hurt Orlando, as they committed 21, with New Orleans turning the ball over 17 times. The Hornets outrebounded the Magic 47-46.

The Magic led after one quarter 18-16, as Hedo Turkoglu, Gustavo Ayon, and DeQuan Jones each scored 4 points. Orlando extended their lead to 46-31 at the half, as the Magic scored 28 second-quarter points on 50% shooting.

Orlando had its largest lead of the game 62-41 halfway through the third quarter after a Turkoglu 3-pointer, which was his only made basket of the game. Turkoglu finished 1 for 5 from the field, all 3-point attempts. The Magic led 66-54 going into the final quarter, but were dominated by the Hornets, who outscored the Magic 31-14 in the quarter on their way to the five-point victory. The Magic shot just 5 of 18 (27.8%) and committed 6 turnovers in that final stanza to contribute to their downfall, while the Hornets shot 10 of 20.

Thirteen Magic players saw action in the game, including first round pick Andrew Nicholson, who finished with 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 fouls in just over 15 minutes of playing time. Second round pick Kyle O'Quinn was scoreless with a blocked shot in under 8 minutes of action. Center Nikola Vucevic led the team in rebounds with nine. Training camp invitee, swingman DeQuan Jones, scored 8 points on 4 of 8 shooting.

Arron Afflalo, Christian Eyenga, Moe Harkless, Al Harrington, Quentin Richardson, and Ish Smith all were held out of play for the Magic.

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