Orlando Magic Crushes New Orleans for Huge Home Opening Night Win
On Tracy McGrady Appreciation Night, the Orlando Magic came out motivated and fired up for their 2013-2014 home debut and steamrolled the New Orleans Pelicans, 110-90. Orlando played disciplined, aggressive defense from the opening tip and played a fun, attacking style all night.
Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 30 points, tying his career high with the Magic, and Moe Harkless had 20 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals. Rookie Victor Oladipo had 10 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks and 1 absolutely destructive ankle-breaking crossover of Jrue Holiday
“I was telling Jameer and Nik, Andrew and Moe, these guys have gotten so much better… it makes the game so much easier for me. This season in particular and I just think that’s something that will help through the season.” – Arron Afflalo on his individual play.
The Pelicans were completely outmatched all night as Orlando finally learned how to attack the rim. After attempting just 28 free throw attempts during the first two games of the season combined, Orlando went to the charity stripe 27 times on the night.
The Magic were draining three pointer’s tonight after continuing to get good looks off drives and kicks. The team finished 11-22 from deep, including two Andrew Nicholson shots that rimmed out. Nicholson continues to stretch the floor with his newly added NBA three-point shot and is growing more confident with the shot each game. He said after the game that he hasn’t really had much difficulty transitioning back and forth between hovering behind the three-point line and banging in the post, since he played both roles all throughout college.
For the Pelicans, it was all Anthony Davis and little else. Davis’ athleticism alone led him to 26 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Newly added free agent guard Tyreke Evans skunk’d himself with an 0-7 shooting night. Winter Park-bred Austin Rivers played 13 minutes of mostly garbage time and scored just 3 points.
For the Magic it was an encouraging home win. It turns out that winning is actually significantly more fun than losing. While it obviously helps when shots are falling, there is a lot to be said for the plays the Magic created on both ends of the floor tonight. Oladipo continues to validate his high draft selection, Harkless bounced back from two very bad games to remind of his promise and Arron Afflalo is keeping his trade value high. Win-Win-Win.
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“We’ve got a great group and that just comes from having guys with great character in the locker room.” “For our guys to do that and respond to a great home crowd tonight and give them a win that they deserve, it was pretty nice to see.” -Coach Jacque Vaughn post game.