Hornets 97, Magic 94

Tim Povtak, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ORLANDO -- New Orleans center Robin Lopez scored a season-high 29 points Wednesday night, and the Hornets beat the Orlando Magic 97-94 to snap an 11-game losing streak.
Lopez also blocked two shots in the final two minutes to turn back a final charge by the Magic.
Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez scored a career-high 27 points, including the last four points of the game. He hit two free throws with 18.7 seconds remaining. His jumper on the previous possession gave New Orleans back the lead.
Magic point guard Jameer Nelson had a season-high 28 points and 10 assists, but he also committed six turnovers, including two late in the game.
Center Nikola Vucevic, who missed the potential game-tying shot in the closing seconds, had 19 points for the Magic.
J.J. Redick gave the Magic their last lead, 94-93 lead with 1:34 remaining on two free throws.
The Hornets led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter after getting back-to-back baskets from reserve Dominic McGuire. The Magic narrowed the deficit to just two going into the fourth period.
The Magic shot 62.2 percent from the field (23 of 37) in the first half, and they led 53-49 at the break. Vucevic had 14 points and Nelson 13 before intermission.
Lopez was smoking early, making his first eight shots before he missed his first one late in the second quarter. He had 19 points by halftime. The Hornets, who shot 55.3 percent in the first half, led by as many as seven points early in the second quarter.
Hornets forward Ryan Anderson, in his first game back in Orlando since a sign-and-trade deal sent him to New Orleans this summer, had 15 points. New Orleans rookie Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
NOTES: Guard Eric Gordon, who led the Hornets in scoring last season, is expected to make his season debut Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats, coach Monty Williams said before Wednesday's game. Gordon has been out with a sore right knee. "We want to make sure he is in the right frame of mind when he comes back, because he can change the way we play," Williams said. ... New Orleans rookie guard Austin Rivers was thrilled to be playing in front of his hometown crowd in Orlando, where he was such a high school star not too long ago. He finished with four points in 28 minutes. Although his first season has been up and down, he has impressed Williams. "He's one of those guys who wants it so badly," Williams said. "He can get frustrated because he's not Michael Jordan today. He's got some things you just can't teach. And he's tougher than I thought he would be." ... Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu missed his 27th consecutive game with that broken left hand, but he could return as early as this weekend. He has started practicing with the team again, going through all the drills. The only thing he hasn't done yet is full contact play. "He just needs some (more) practice. We haven't scrimmaged yet. He's gotta get hit in the hand (in practice)," Vaughn said. ... Anderson is on pace to break the NBA's single-season record for most 3-pointers (269), set by Ray Allen (2005-06 season). Anderson went into Wednesday's game with 88 3-pointers, which was seven more than Allen had after the same amount of games in his record-setting season. He went 1-for-5 from long distance against the Magic.

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