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Magic 104, Pelicans 89: Orlando pulls away in second half for convincing victory

The Magic got their first season sweep against the Pelicans since 2004-05 with a convincing victory.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a loss on Saturday night, the Orlando Magic returned to action at home against the New Orleans Pelicans, looking to secure their first sweep against their Western Conference foe since 2004-05. While it wasn't perfect, the Magic dominated the second half en route to a 104-89 victory.

The Magic got off to a fast start, thanks to a pair of three-pointers, and a three-point play to grab a 9-0 lead before one could blink, subsequently forcing the Pelicans to call a timeout. Out of that timeout, the Pelicans began to stabilize, scoring six of the next 10 points to get themselves back in it. After Elfrid Payton left the game briefly for the Magic, their offense bogged down, not moving the ball with the crispness they did in the opening minutes. Their defense also began to slip yet again, seeing the Pelicans use dribble penetration to get good looks on many of their possessions.

Things didn't get much better for the Magic in the second quarter. They continued to struggle to run their offense consistently, while their defense wasn't able to string together consistent stops against a Pelicans team that shot nearly 48 percent in the half. Despite their continued struggles in the quarter, the Magic finished the half strong, grabbing a slim four point lead heading into the halftime break.

Out of halftime, the Magic began to look like the better side once again. After a sluggish start to the quarter by the Pelicans, coach Alvin Gentry went with a line change, hoping to give his team a much needed boost after fall behind by 10 in the opening three minutes of the quarter. Going to his bench didn't work, as the Magic continued to dominate the game on both ends, pushing their lead up to as many as 15, while holding the Pelicans to just 18 points in the quarter.

Needing one more small run to really put the game away, the Magic turned to Andrew Nicholson early and often in the fourth quarter. Nicholson, scored nine early points, while Tobias Harris scored six, to push the Magic's lead up to 18, all but giving them the victory against a reeling Pelicans bunch.

Nikola Vucevic had his way with the Pelicans all night, finishing with 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Fournier finished with an efficient 20, with Harris finishing the night with 14. Nicholson rounded out Magic men in double figures, finishing the night with 13.

Anthony Davis did all he could, finishing with 20 on the night. Tyreke Evans scored 16, while Norris Cole added 17 off the Pelicans bench. Jrue Holiday rounded out the visitors in double figures with 11.