NBA Game Summary - Orlando at New Orleans
(Friday, February 26th)
Final Score: New Orleans 100, Orlando 93
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - David West finished with 40 points and 10 rebounds, as the New Orleans Hornets fought back from a big second-half deficit to take a 100-93 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Marcus Thornton added 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Darren Collison had 16 points and seven assists for the Hornets, who trailed by as many as 18 in the third quarter.
But New Orleans held the Magic to 4-of-18 shooting and 13 points in the fourth quarter on the way to ending a two-game slide.
Dwight Howard had 26 points and 10 boards to pace Orlando, which had won its last two. Jameer Nelson added 19 points and 11 assists in the loss.
"We looked for opportunities to relax, lose focus and let down, and we deserved to lose," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We've gotten to the point where Dwight can't merely be good or very good. He has to be absolutely dominant for us to win."
Nelson's layup with 6:11 left in the third quarter ended a six-point burst that put Orlando ahead 71-53, but the Hornets ran off the next 10 points to stay in the game.
Collison sparked the rally with two buckets, and West ended the run with two of his own to get New Orleans within 71-63.
The Hornets faced an 80-72 deficit moving to the fourth, a deficit they completely erased by opening the final frame with a nine-point run. West scored the final seven points, as his layup put New Orleans ahead 81-80 with 8:24 to play.
The teams traded the lead over the next few minutes, but the Hornets took control with 11 straight points. Reserve big man Aaron Gray connected on a pair of jumpers in the run, which Thornton ended with a three-pointer for a 96-86 lead. With just 51.1 seconds left, the shot effectively ended Orlando's comeback hopes.
"It was just an outstanding finish to the game," Hornets head coach Jeff Bower said. "I'm really proud of our team, how they fought and turned a difficult game into a victory. What I was most proud about was the fact that we didn't give up on the game when we were behind and things weren't going our way."
The Hornets led 26-21 after the first quarter, though Orlando's offense started clicking in the second. The Magic connected on 14-of-22 field goal tries en route to a 56-46 halftime lead.
Orlando continued to play in front in the third, and Nelson's jumper with 8:23 on the clock pushed the Magic advantage to 65-51.
New Orleans scored 18 points off 18 Magic turnovers...The Hornets made 19- of-25 foul shots, while the Magic were 10-of-16 from the line...J.J. Redick and Matt Barnes had 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Orlando.
02/27 01:22:30 ET