Afflalo, Harkless combine for 50 points, lead Magic to first win
By AP FeedFoxSports
Arron Afflalo had 30 points and Maurice Harkless added 20 points and eight rebounds as the Orlando Magic got their first win of the season, hammering the New Orleans Pelicans 110-90 on Friday night.
Anthony Davis led winless New Orleans with 26 points and 17 rebounds, while Jrue Holiday added 17 points and five assists.
Orlando seized control in the second quarter when Harkless scored 12 points and the Magic limited New Orleans to 6-of-21 shooting on their way to a 53-35 halftime lead.
The Pelicans cut the deficit to 62-48 on a spectacular dunk by Davis off a lob from Holiday early in the third quarter, but that was as close as they got.
Afflalo, who had 15 points in the third quarter, led Orlando on a 13-3 run that he ended with a 3-pointer. The guard was 4 for 5 on 3-pointers, all in the second half, as Orlando built leads as big as 30 points.
Reserve Kyle O'Quinn had 14 points and Nikola Vucevic, Jameer Nelson and Victor Oladipo had 10 each as Orlando put six scorers in double figures.
The Pelicans struggled with their shooting the entire game, hitting just 34.8 percent from the field. Anthony Morrow contributed 14 points, including 4-for-4 from 3-point territory, and Eric Gordon had 12.
Orlando took control of the game in the second and third quarters, outscoring New Orleans 63-40 with Harkless and Afflalo taking turns leading the charge. Harkless had 12 points in the second quarter and Afflalo had 15 in the third as the Magic built a 25-point lead.
Orlando used a superb defensive effort in the first half to build a 53-35 lead. The Magic held New Orleans to 15-of-49 shooting (30.6 percent), swarming the guards every time they entered the lane and making every possession a grind for the visitors.
The Magic started the game hitting five of their first six shots, including two 3-pointers from Nelson, but all it got them was a 22-20 first-quarter lead.
The Pelicans were 6 for 21 (28.6 percent) in the second quarter, with Holiday and Tyreke Evans a combined 1 for 14 at halftime. Evans finished the game with no points on 0-for-7 shooting.
The Magic, meanwhile, were getting surprising contributions from Harkless, who scored 16 points in the first two games and matched that in the first half. The second-year forward from St. John's scored seven straight points and 12 of the Magic's last 18 in the quarter, including two 3-pointers.
Harkless' last 3 gave Orlando a 53-33 lead with 19 seconds left in the half and though Gordon made a driving layup at the buzzer, the Magic were clearly in control.
The Pelicans hit their first five shots, three by Holiday, in the third quarter but the closest they got was 62-48 on a highlight-reel lob-and-dunk from Holiday to Davis with 8:28 left in the third quarter.
The Magic answered with a 13-3 run and the lead was up to 24 when Afflalo nailed a 3-pointer to make it 75-51. Orlando finished the quarter with an 85-60 lead and all but one of its starters on the bench.
NOTES: The Magic honored former player Tracy McGrady as part of the season-long celebration of the franchise's 25th anniversary. McGrady led the NBA in scoring his last two years in Orlando and was an all-star all four seasons (2000-2004) he played for the Magic. ...The Pelicans' roster starts the season with the least experience in the NBA, averaging just 3.6 years' experience. . Magic reserve PF Solomon Jones tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee against Minnesota and is out indefinitely.