NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 26th (All times Eastern)
New Orleans Hornets (5-22) at Orlando Magic (12-15), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Orleans Hornets will try to end an 11-game losing streak Wednesday night when they visit the Amway Center to take on the Orlando Magic.
The Hornets have not tasted victory since Dec. 3 at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. New Orleans is 1-12 in the month of December and its most recent setback came on Saturday with an 81-75 loss at home to the Indiana Pacers.
The Hornets played great in the first half against Indiana. They held the Pacers to 11 points in the first quarter and were 17 points ahead at the half.
Things fell apart quickly for New Orleans. The Hornets were held to seven points in the third quarter and lost the second half, 52-29.
"I thought we played not to lose, instead of playing to win," head coach Monty Williams said of Saturday's game. "We have to own it, and move forward. But it's a tough one to swallow."
Robin Lopez led the way for the Hornets with 24 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots. Greivis Vasquez chipped in 14 and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis had 10 points and nine boards.
The Magic appeared to have built some momentum with a four-game winning streak, but have stumbled of late. They lost their last two, including a home defeat to the Utah Jazz on Sunday, 97-93.
With Glen Davis sidelined with a sprained left shoulder, the Magic relied on balance. Arron Afflalo led the way with 20 points and Nikola Vucevic posted a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick each had 14 points.
The Magic built a 12-point lead after the first quarter, but things got very tight at the end. Down 95-93 with 2.4 seconds left in the game, Gustavo Ayon, who was inserted into the starting lineup to replace Davis, missed two foul shots.
Free throws plagued the Magic on Sunday. They went 8-for-15 from the foul line and committed 20 turnovers, which led to 22 Jazz points.
"Watching it was tough, watching the film," said head coach Jacque Vaughn. "We had a good first quarter, something that's plagued us in the past a little bit."
The Magic were the last team in the NBA to receive an individual technical foul, but they've picked them up in bunches recently. Redick was tagged in each of the last two games and the Magic have picked up three "T's" in the last four games.
"That's something we can control," said Vaughn. "The ball will tell the story. I want to be below the average. I don't like the regression."
The Hornets have won the last four games in this series.
12/26 10:43:45 ET