The Orlando Magic probably thought they would end their losing streak against the hapless New Orleans Hornets. Instead, they suffered their third consecutive defeat by four points or less, coming up on the short end of a 97-94 final on Wednesday night at the Amway Center.
"I don't know what it was," Magic point guard Jameer Nelson said. "I don't think we played hard enough defensively. Overall it's not on any one guy; it's all of us out there together. We just have to do things harder and be tougher out there, so whatever we have to do we have to do."
The Hornets (6-22) snapped their own 11-game losing streak thanks to 29 points from Robin Lopez and 27 points, eight rebounds, and six assists from Greivis Vasquez. Former Magic forward Ryan Anderson chipped in with 15 points, while rookie Anthony Davis had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Orlando (12-16) dropped to 7-8 at home despite 28 points and 10 assists from Nelson, 19 points and nine rebounds from Nikola Vucevic, 14 points from Arron Afflalo, 12 points and six assists from J.J. Redick, and 10 points and six rebounds from E'Twaun Moore.
New Orleans was 38 of 76 (50.0%) from the field compared to 36 of 79 (45.6%) for the Magic. Orlando made 11 of 30 (36.7%) shots from 3-point range, whereas the Hornets were 2 of 12 (16.7%). The hosts made 19 of 20 (95.0%) free throw attempts, while Orlando was 11 of 13 (84.6%).
The Hornets held a 26-24 advantage at the end of the first quarter before the Magic battled back to take a 53-49 halftime lead. New Orleans outscored Orlando 29-23 in the third quarter and 19-18 in the fourth.
"They're a scrappy team all-around," Nelson added. "I mean, they've always been a scrappy team, no matter who they had on their team, so they came in and basically handed it to us a little bit."
Orlando is at Washington on Friday at 7:00 pm on FS Florida.
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