The Orlando Magic led from start to finish, pounding the New Orleans Pelicans 119-96 at home Wednesday night.
Evan Fournier led all scorers with 22 points, Aaron Gordon added 20 points plus seven rebounds and Nikola Vucevic chipped in 15 points and 17 rebounds.
The Magic improved to 34-38, inching closer to the Miami Heat for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Orlando began the night 1.5 games behind the Heat, who were also in action Wednesday playing the San Antonio Spurs.
Frank Jackson was the only Pelican starter to score in double figures, netting 14 points. Reserve Stanley Johnson scored a team-high 18, Ian Clark had 17 points off the bench, and reserve Cheick Diallo had seven points and 11 rebounds. Pelicans star forward, Anthony Davis, did not play due to a family matter.
The Magic took a double-digit lead less than four minutes into the game and never let the Pelicans back into it. Orlando led by 14 after one quarter one, 22 by halftime, 31 after the third quarter and by as much as 35 in the fourth.
The Magic shot 45.1 percent from the field, while limiting New Orleans to just 37.3 percent.
Orlando jumped out to a 14-2 lead to start the game and led 39-25 after Terrence Ross hit a 3-pointer just before the first-quarter buzzer sounded. Vucevic already had 10 rebounds by the end of the opening period and had a double-double by halftime.
Former Magic guard Elfrid Payton had his streak of five straight triple-doubles snapped, scoring just seven points. Payton had joined Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Russell Westbrook as the only players ever with five consecutive triple-doubles.
Orlando plays a rematch against the Memphis Grizzlies Friday night. The Grizzlies stunned the Magic 105-97 back on March 10 after holding Orlando to just one field goal in the final eight minutes.
New Orleans plays it next five games at home, starting with the Houston Rockets on Sunday.
--Field Level Media