Jameer Nelson and Anthony Davis - USA TODAY Sports
Once again, the Magic struggled to get to the foul line and to control the ball in defeat.
The Orlando Magic fell to the New Orleans Hornets, 97-94, on Wednesday night for their third consecutive defeat, each by four points or fewer. The Hornets entered the game on an 11-game losing streak which had buried them in last place out West, but they prevailed on the strength of their inside game and by taking care of the ball.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
|Green denotes a stat better than the team's 2012/13 average;|
red denotes a stat worse than the team's 2012/13 average.
In a slow game--the estimated 84.5 possessions was Orlando's fewest of the season--New Orleans committed only nine turnovers. Four of them happened in the fourth quarter, but the Magic were unable to capitalize on the Hornets' ill-timed sloppiness.
New Orleans' dominance in drawing fouls also helped it prevail on Wednesday, as the visitors went 19-of-20 from the stripe. They owe much of their success there to veteran center Robin Lopez, who went 11-of-12 on free throws en route to a 29-point outing.
Orlando shot a great 84.6 percent from the line, but on just 13 attempts. Without free throws to augment their offense, the Magic found themselves relying on crisp execution in order to get buckets. And as their 14 turnovers demonstrate, Orlando did not execute crisply, despite the Hornets' defense, which entered the game as the league's second-worst unit.