Hornets 100, Magic 91

Preview | Box Score | Recap

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—The Orlando Magic’s attitude is sinking to the level of their won-loss record.

“It’s getting to the point where we’re going into games feeling like we’re going to lose,” Tracy McGrady said after the team’s 16th straight defeat, 100-91 to the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night.

“That’s a bad feeling to have, so frustrating,” McGrady said. “The only thing that’s going to change us out of this is a win.”

Coach Johnny Davis also sees the defeatism that’s overcome his squad, especially in tough stretches.

“I’d like for us to really show a lot more fight in those moments,” said Davis, winless in six games since taking over for the fired Doc Rivers.

The teams play again in New Orleans on Wednesday night, and another Magic loss will match the franchise record for futility. Orlando lost 17 straight in 1991-92, then drafted Shaquille O’Neal in the summer.

“I absolutely empathize with the situation,” said Hornets coach Tim Floyd, who had a 49-190 record in two-plus seasons coaching the Chicago Bulls from 1999-2001.

Baron Davis had 21 points and 11 assists to lead three New Orleans players with double-doubles. Rookie David West had season-bests of 14 points and 11 rebounds and P.J. Brown added 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Darrell Armstrong had 10 points. Hours earlier, a judge dismissed battery and resisting arrest charges against Armstrong, who was on trial for allegedly striking an Orlando police officer.

“I just want to get back to basketball,” Armstrong said. “I don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

The Hornets, mired in a shooting slump, reached 100 points for the first time in eight games. In the paint, they outscored Orlando 52-24 despite being outrebounded 58-50.

Gordan Giricek led Orlando with a season-high 23 points and Juwan Howard had 16. McGrady had a season-high 15 rebounds, but shot 6-for-19 for 16 points.

Drew Gooden came off the bench for 11 points and a season-high 14 rebounds.

New Orleans started the Magic on their losing skid with a close win on Oct. 30. More than four weeks later, the Hornets had to break out of their shooting woes to make sure they didn’t help end it.

New Orleans began slowly, shooting 1-for-10. By the time the Hornets made their second shot, they trailed by 10 points.

Orlando didn’t allow New Orleans many chances to shoot their way out of the slump, controlling the boards from the start. The Magic held a 17-6 rebounding advantage in pushing the lead to 15 points.

“We knew that a lot of shots we missed were easy shots,” said Davis, 1-for-7 in the first quarter. “A lot of those shots, I should’ve made.”

But New Orleans steadied itself by turning up the defensive pressure in the second quarter, racking up five steals and drawing three offensive fouls. Orlando is a good ballhandling squad, but its 10 turnovers were a season worst for a period.

West’s dunk with 2:25 before the break gave the Hornets their first lead, and New Orleans held a 48-46 halftime advantage.

“We’re capable of getting steals in bunches, points in bunches and hitting a lot of 3s,” said David Wesley, who had 17 points and three steals. He shotonly 5-for-15, but was 4-for-7 on 3-pointers.

Notes

Including the preseason and last year’s playoffs, the Magic have lost 24 of their last 26 games—including 15 straight at home. … This was the first game for Orlando’s newest assistant coach, Paul Westhead. He was hired last Friday. … West and Orlando’s Tyronn Lue were hit with double technicalsfor scuffling during a second-quarter pileup.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 New Orleans
B. Davis B. Davis
8-25,  21 Pts
4 Rebs, 11 Assists
 Orlando
T. McGrady T. McGrady
6-19,  16 Pts
15 Rebs, 5 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists