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(Monday, March 4th)
Final Score: Orlando 105, New Orleans 102
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Arron Afflalo scored a game-high 26 points and provided the go-ahead bucket in the final minute, as the Orlando Magic pulled out a 105-102 comeback win over the New Orleans Hornets.
Jameer Nelson, who had missed the previous six games due to a knee injury, chipped in 15 points and seven assists, while Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless added 15 and 13 points, respectively, in the win.
Orlando trailed by 17 in the third quarter and was down by nine late in the fourth before rallying to end a three-game skid.
Anthony Davis returned from a two-game absence and totaled 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for the Hornets, who have lost three of four. Eric Gordon and Greivis Vasquez each netted 17 points, but Vasquez missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"Defensively, that was about as poor as I've seen us all year long in the second half," said Hornets head coach Monty Williams, whose club gave up 69 points after the break.
Consecutive 3-pointers from Vasquez and Ryan Anderson had the Hornets on top by a 97-88 score with 3:30 remaining, but the Magic responded with an 11-1 run to go in front.
After a Vasquez bucket, Afflalo drained a turnaround and added two free throws for a 103-100 Orlando advantage with 18.8 seconds remaining. A Davis tip-in made it a one-point game, but two Magic free throws pushed the margin back to three.
Vasquez was hounded by Nelson at the top of the key with time winding down, and his try missed wildly to the left to seal the outcome.
"It was great to see the guys feel it and get rewarded for their effort of consistent play," Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We get down 17 and still plug away and play each possession. That was great to see from multiple people."
The Hornets held a 23-20 lead heading into the second quarter and went into halftime with a 46-36 cushion.
The difference reached its apex after Anderson and Gordon connected on back- to-back 3-pointers for a 61-44 lead four minutes into the third.
The Magic didn't go away, scoring 22 of the next 27 points to even things, though they still trailed 76-70 entering the fourth quarter.
Davis had been sidelined with a sprained left shoulder ... Anderson, acquired by the Hornets from the Magic via a sign-and-trade in the offseason, scored 13 points ... Orlando had 14 more points in the paint (54-40) and eight more fastbreak points (17-9) ... The Magic had lost their previous five games against the Hornets and earned their first win in the Big Easy since Nov. 19, 2007.
03/04 23:41:45 ET