Hornets 84, Magic 78, OT
Pargo scored a season-high 25 points, 21 of them after halftime as the Hornets scraped past the Orlando Magic 84-78 in overtime Tuesday night.
Pargo was 10-of-18 from the field, made three of his four 3-pointers and sank both his free throws. His teammates combined to go 20-of-62 from the floor as the Hornets shot just 37.5 percent.
“He made open shots, he made guarded shots, he made tough shots and he made buzzer-beater shots,” teammate Rasual Butler said. “He hit almost everything that came his way. He kept us in the game.”
Orlando’s point total was a season low and the Magic shot just 34.9 percent (29-of-83) in losing their third straight. After managing to get the game to overtime, they didn’t score until the final 10 seconds of the extra period.
Desmond Mason scored 21 points, and Butler had 19 points and tied his career high with 11 rebounds as the Hornets won their third straight.
A jumper by Butler to start overtime gave the Hornets a 77-75 lead. Orlando then missed two shots and turned it over twice before Devin Brown sank two free throws for a 79-75 lead. After Mason made one of two free throws with 27.4 seconds left, Butler kept the ball alive and Pargo added two more free throws to make it 82-75 with 23.1 seconds to play.
Orlando’s only basket in overtime was a 3-pointer by Keyon Dooling with 7.7 seconds left.
Pargo made a jumper with 2:29 left in regulation to give the Hornets a 73-71 lead. Nelson tied it with a baseline jumper with 36.1 seconds left before Mason sank two free throws with 18.4 to play to put New Orleans in front again.
Howard made one of two free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining. Darko Milicic, who scored 11, was fouled grabbing the rebound of Howard’s miss, and he sank the second of two from the line to tie it at 75. Milicic then blocked a driving shot by Pargo with 1.7 seconds left and the Hornets turned it over on the ensuing inbounds play as time expired.
“At the start of overtime, our players were just talking to each other and saying how we were going to win the game,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said. “We came out and did a great job of getting stops.”
After scoring a season-low 33 points in the first half, the Magic started quickly in the third period to get within 42-41. The Hornets responded with a 6-0 run to build the lead to seven points, then Pargo scored 11 of their final 13 to keep them in front.
“What can I say? I had a hand right in his face and I got the ball on the way up some of the time,” Nelson said. “He made tough shots, so you just take your hat off to him. He came in and did his job.”
Orlando scored only 14 points in the second quarter when it was 5-of-17 with six turnovers.
Hornets fans remain standing until the home team makes a basket. They had to wait nearly eight minutes in actual time Tuesday night, including during a Hornets timeout after Orlando took a 7-0 lead. … Howard recorded his 29th double-double of the season … The Magic went 1-3 on their western road trip.