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Magic, Pelicans clash in Orlando
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Orlando Magic will try get in the win column Friday night when they stage their home-opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Magic opened the 2013-14 NBA campaign with a 97-87 loss in Indianapolis to the Pacers Tuesday. The following night, Orlando fell in overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 120-115, at the Target Center.
The setback to the Wolves was especially disappointing. Orlando fought back the entire game after falling 11 behind after the opening quarter. The Magic won every remaining quarter and held a three-point lead with 12 seconds to go.
Minnesota's Kevin Love buried the tying bucket to force overtime, although Arron Afflalo had a chance to win it in regulation. The T'Wolves pummeled the Magic in overtime to send Orlando to an 0-2 start.
"It hurts even more when you feel like you've got the game won and all that we've been through last season and trying to do better this season," said Afflalo, who led the Magic with 28 points. "We've got to start capitalizing on these types of games."
Nikola Vucevic had a monster game against Minny with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Jameer Nelson (18), rookie Victor Oladipo (14), Andrew Nicholson (13) and E'Twaun Moore (10) also scored in double digits.
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn cautioned his team, which finished with the worst record in the NBA last season, not to panic.
"There were a lot of good things from us on the road," Vaughn said after the Wolves loss. "I'm going to keep believing in them two games into the year. I told our guys, 'Keep believing how good that we are.' We're a good team, facing two opponents with their home-openers. We had a two-point game in Indiana going into the fourth quarter and we came here tonight with a chance to win."
The Pelicans can sympathize with the Magic. They lost their season-opener to the Pacers on Wednesday in the Big Easy.
New Orleans took a seven-point lead into the final frame, but surrendered 36 points in the fourth to lose, 95-90.
"I just didn't think we had an understanding of the moment in the fourth quarter," said Pelicans coach Monty Williams. "I thought that was like a playoff game tonight. We didn't have the execution in the fourth quarter."
The Pelicans were led by Eric Gordon's 25 points and Jrue Holiday, who was acquired in the offseason, added 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, netted 20 points, grabbed 12 boards and blocked three shots for the Pelicans, who shot 45.5 percent from long range.
New Orleans missed sharp-shooter Ryan Anderson, who will miss one to three weeks with a chip fracture in the second toe on his right foot.
The teams split their two meetings last season with each squad winning on the other's court. New Orleans has taken two straight at the Amway Center.
11/01 10:52:30 ET