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Pelicans 99, Magic 95: Orlando falls despite strong performances from Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris

Orlando nearly erased a 13-point deficit in the fourth period, but came up short.

Tobias Harris and Anthony Morrow
Tobias Harris and Anthony Morrow
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic fell to the New Orleans Pelicans in their preseason opener Wednesday night, 99-95, despite seven players scoring in double-figures. Nik Vučević and Tobias Harris led the way for Orlando with 17 points apiece, while second overall Draft choice Victor Oladipo contributed 10 points, five rebounds, a game-high-tying nine assists, and four steals in defeat. The teams played at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville.

The Magic trailed by 13 points with just 3:53 to play as the Pelicans pulled away, but Vučević scored 10 of Orlando's next 13 points over the course of the next two-plus minutes. Strapped for time, Orlando had to foul intentionally down the stretch, with Pelicans guards Brian Roberts and Anthony Morrow combining to go 6-of-6 from the foul line in the final 18 seconds. Roberts would finish with 16 points, second only to Davis for New Orleans.

Orlando built a six-point halftime lead, but Anthony Davis, the top overall Draft choice from a year ago, scored 15 of the Pelicans' 30 third-quarter points by going 3-of-5 from the floor and 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with a game-best 29 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and four blocked shots.

Magic coach Jacque Vaughn started Kyle O'Quinn at power forward instead of Jason Maxiell or Harris. O'Quinn was ineffective in his 28 minutes, committing five fouls and four turnovers. For their parts, Maxiell and Harris held their own on the glass, combining for 19 rebounds.

Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo, the Magic's starting backcourt, combined to shoot 4-of-18 from the floor for 14 points. Each was a game-worst minus-26 as they played exclusively alongside one another.

Second-round Draft choice Romero Osby shot 1-of-5 from the floor and 1-of-2 from the charity stripe for three points in 10 minutes.

Orlando's preseason home opener is set for Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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