Speights' three-point outburst leads Magic past Pelicans, 115-99
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 31, 2017 10:49 AM
Orlando Magic forward Marreese Speights (5) goes for a rebound between New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) and forward DeMarcus Cousins (0) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld)
By Brett Martel, Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Marreese Speights highlighted an 18-point performance by hitting five of his career-high six three-pointers during a decisive 22-6 run, and the Orlando Magic soundly defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 115-99 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time).
Speights' second triple of the game made it 87-83 in the final minute of the third quarter. He drained four more early in the fourth, after which Orlando led 106-89.
Coming off a lopsided victory over Cleveland on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), the Pelicans were unable to respond during the final seven minutes.
Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Jonathon Simmons each scored 20 points for Orlando, which shot 50.6 percent (43-of-85) from the field and 47.1 percent (16-of-34) from three-point range. Aaron Gordon added 17 points, helping the Magic bounce back from a loss at Charlotte a night earlier.
Anthony Davis had 39 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, but the Pelicans made only seven of their 28 three-point attempts, hitting only 3-of-18 from deep in the second half.
DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points and 12 assists for the Pelicans, while Jrue Holiday scored 11 points.
Speights, a 6’10” power forward, hasn't been shy about shooting from distance, but had made only 3-of-9 attempts from deep in the Magic's first six games. But he was clearly confident in his shot in New Orleans, attempting 10, often without hesitation and from a couple feet behind the three-point line a couple times.
The Magic, who trailed 64-60 at halftime, opened the third quarter on a 12-2 run fueled by Vucevic's seven points on a layup, a triple, and a 17-footer.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry called timeout, and New Orleans briefly regained the lead with a 10-2 spurt that included back-to-back left wing 3s by Dante Cunningham.
But the Magic were the steadier team throughout the period, hitting 12-of-20 shots, including 4-of-8 from three-point range.
Magic: Scored the first eight points of the game and led 33-24 after the first quarter, when Fournier hit three triples and scored 11 of his points. ... Orlando came in averaging 117.2 points and has reached 113 in all seven of its games.
Pelicans: Cousins, who entered the night second in the NBA in turnovers with five per game, had two passes intercepted in the first 3:31 and finished with six turnovers. ... The Pelicans were aiming for their first winning record since the last day of the 2014-15 season, which also was the last time they made the playoffs.
Magic: Visit Memphis on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) for their third game in four nights.
Pelicans: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).