Disappearing act for Magic against Hornets
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Willie Green scored 24 points and David West added 17 points and 17 rebounds as the New Orleans Hornets rallied to beat the Orlando Magic 99-93 on Friday night.
The Hornets snapped a four-game losing streak, while Orlando's loss stopped a string of two straight wins. The Magic are now 5-6 since posting their last three-game winning streak last month.
Chris Paul added 15 points, Jarrett Jack had 13 and Trevor Ariza 10 for the Hornets.
The Magic erased a nine-point halftime deficit, but came up short down the stretch thanks to a slew of late turnovers. They had 16 for the game.
Dwight Howard led the way for Orlando with 20 points and 17 rebounds, and Hedo Turkoglu added 16. J.J. Redick and Earl Clark both added 14 off the bench.
After playing some spotty defense in the first half, Orlando's offense came alive in the third quarter as it erased a nine-point halftime deficit to tie it at 80 entering the fourth.
The Magic continued their momentum to start the final 12 minutes, using a 6-2 spurt, capped by a dunk by Howard to jump out to 86-82 lead with 9:21 to play.
David Andersen and coach Monty Williams were both called for technicals at the 8:38 mark for arguing a foul call on Andersen as he battled Orlando's Clark for a rebound. The Magic led 89-84 following a pair of free throws by Redick and one by Clark before the Hornets reeled off seven straight points to take a 91-89 lead with 6:51 left.
That lead remained one basket, 93-91, on a jumper by West and grew to 95-91 on a jumper by Green with 1:56 to play. Ryan Anderson misfired on a 3-pointer and the rebound was fumbled out of bounds. An official review of the play during a timeout gave the Magic the ball with 31.1 seconds and Redick scored on a driving layup to make it 95-93.
West hit one of two free throws and the Magic called a timeout. But Turkoglu threw away the inbounds pass with 22.7 seconds to play to hand it back over to New Orleans. Paul was fouled and hit a pair of free throws, and the Magic missed on their next trip and Paul hit two more from the line to provide the final margin.
New Orleans took a 61-52 lead into halftime, posting its second-highest point total in a first half this season.
Jack and Green both had 13 points to lead the Hornets attack, followed by Paul with 12.
Orlando tied it at 46 with under 5 minutes to play in the second quarter on a dunk by Clark. But the Hornets closed the quarter on a 15-6 run, which included eight points by Jack.
Howard had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Magic and Redick had 10 off the bench. Howard struggled from the foul line, though, connecting on only 4 of his 10 attempts. New Orleans seemed to recognize his woes in the final 2 minutes of the half, fouling Howard three times before the Magic got into the offensive half court.
The Hornets led 28-24 after the opening 12 minutes, though they were thoroughly dominated underneath. The Magic got 18 of their points in the paint for the period, compared to just six for New Orleans.
NOTES: Paul was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Friday for verbal abuse of a referee during the Hornets' 103-101 overtime loss at New Jersey on Wednesday. ... Magic PF Brandon Bass, who has missed the past six games with a sprained left ankle, could be available for Orlando's game with the L.A. Lakers on Sunday. He participated in the team's offensive walkthrough Friday morning and got a promising report from team trainers.
Updated February 11, 2011