Playing in their first game after the week long NBA All-Star break, the Orlando Magic welcomed the Anthony Davis led New Orleans Pelicans to the Amway Center. A big second half helped the Magic kick off the second half in style with a 95-84 victory.
The week off seemed to have an impact on both teams. New Orleans seemed to knock off the rust first, however, jumping out to a 10-2 lead before you could blink. However, the Magic answered, going on a 9-0 run to grab a brief 11-10 lead. The two teams traded buckets for much of the remainder of the quarter, with the Pelicans taking a slight one point lead into the second quarter. Oft injured Eric Gordon got things going for the Pelicans, knocking down a pair of three pointers en route to eight first quarter points. Fresh off his appearance at All-Star weekend, Victor Oladipo led the way for the Magic with eight of his own.
In the second quarter, the Magic began to struggle to get their offense going on a consistent basis. As the quarter wore on, however, the Magic's offense began to come around, with the team getting a handful of easy buckets late in the quarter from Evan Fournier. Once the Magic's offense was able to get a couple of easy buckets, they were able to get some stops as well, clawing their way back from a nine point deficit. The Magic were able to take good care of the ball in the first half, turning it over just six times, and improved on the boards in the second quarter, cutting their deficit from seven to three. Fournier's nine led all scorers, with Davis, Gordon and Ryan Anderson leading the Pelicans with six each.
Out of halftime, the Magic were fluid on offense, going on a 10-to-5 run early in the quarter to grab a one point lead. After the Pelicans took the lead back, the Magic began to impose their will, jumping out to a seven point lead, thanks to great play on both ends of the floor. The Magic had immense success attacking the basket, making 11-of-12 in the painted are in the quarter. Victor Oladipo continued his high level of play, scoring 12 in the quarter to finish with 20 points after three quarters. Davis continued to lead the Pelicans as well, pushing his total up to 13 through 36 minutes.
With a two point lead heading into the final 12 minutes, the Magic had a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since mid-January. Much like the third quarter, their offense continued to click on all cylinders, with their defense stringing together stops on a consistent basis. The Magic were able to hold their lead around the 10 point mark for much of the quarter, as they split the season series with the Pelicans.
Four Magic men finished in double figures, led by Oladipo's game high 22. Nikola Vucevic notched yet another double-double, finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Fournier finished the night with 16, with Elfrid Payton rounding out the group with 10 points and 11 assists.
New Orleans brought forth a much more balanced effort, finishing with five players in double figures. Tyreke Evans led the way with a 14-point, 10-assist double-double. Davis, Anderson and Quincy Pondexter all finished with 13, with Davis adding 11 rebounds. Gordon rounded out their group in double figures, finishing with 11.