Still in search of their first win, the Orlando Magic traveled to New Orleans to take on the injury-riddled Pelicans, who were also looking for their first win on the early season. The Magic held the lead almost the entire game, holding off a second half rally from the Pelicans for a 103-94 victory.
After a slow start on Sunday night in Chicago, the Magic came out firing, pushing the pace on the offense, and getting after the Pelicans on the defensive end. Orlando's quick pace and stifling defense allowed them to get into their offensive sets with ease, stringing the shorthanded Pelicans out. The Magic found success getting to the bucket, scoring 20 of their 28 points in the painted area, a ten point advantage early. Following a brief lead for the Pelicans, the Magic finished the quarter on a 19-7 run, to carry an 11 point lead into the second.
Into the second quarter, the Magic continued to find success pushing the pace against New Orleans' lackluster bench. While they continued to hold the Pelicans under 32 percent shooting, the Magic's defense saw some struggles, giving up some easy buckets, mainly off of a plethora of Magic turnovers. Coach Scott Skiles continued tinkering with his rotations, rolling with reserve Jason Smith for much of the quarter, as the team continues to look for balance between their starters and reserves.
As has been customary for the Magic, the team came out flat in the season half, allowing the Pelicans to claw their way right back into it. The Pelicans, who continually found themselves with open three-pointers in the first half, began hitting their shots from deep, knocking down six triples in the quarter. After a strong first half, the Magic's offense found themselves bogging down, focusing on playing one-on-one, rather than moving and finding the open man, something they did well in the opening 24 minutes. Despite the Pelicans hot shooting, the Magic were able to do just enough to hold onto their lead, holding a nine point lead into the final 12 minutes.
Looking to hold on for their first win of the season, the Magic continued to be pressured by the Pelicans knocking down open shots. With the lead hovering around eight or more for much of the quarter, things looked good for the Magic. However, New Orleans made a late push, cutting the lead down to five late, before the Magic got a pair of big buckets from Evan Fournier to pull away for their first win of the season.
Fournier did the bulk of the damage for the Magic, finishing with a career-high 30. Nikola Vucevic notched his second straight double-double, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds against a beaten and battered Pelicans front line. Victor Oladipo rounded out the group of Magic men in double figures, finishing with 12.
Eric Gordon led the way for the Pelicans, finishing with 21, 11 of which came in the third quarter. Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson all finished with 14, with Davis adding 10 rebounds to round out the Pelicans in double figures.