Hornets end 11-game losing skid, 97-94 over Magic

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm •  Published: December 26, 2012
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Vasquez had his shot blocked by E'Twaun Moore on the Hornets' ensuing possession, but stepped on the baseline on his rebound attempt with only 25 seconds left.

Vasquez was fouled and made two free throws to make it 97-94.

Vucevic wound up in the corner and missed a 3-pointer off the side of the rim and Afflalo was unable to get up another attempt as the horn sounded.

"It was playing against set defense compared to getting in transition," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "They were long, blocked some shots of ours and were great at closing out and contesting shots, so I think that was the difference."

Though defense tightened late, free-flowing offense was on display on both sides in the first half.

The Magic led 53-49 at the break, despite Lopez scoring 14 of the Hornets' first 20 points.

Lopez was 8 of 9 from the field and scored 19 points in the first half.

Orlando never trailed by more seven, though, keeping pace by connecting of seven 3-pointers in the half. The Magic's offense also got a big lift from Vucevic, who went right at the Hornet's interior defense, scoring 14 points.

But he also acknowledged that Davis' absence is a problem right now, particularly defensively.

"We miss him a lot — both ends of the court," Vucevic said. "People think it's probably just on the offensive end because he's one of our leading scorers. But he played well on both ends of the court."

Hornets coach Monty Williams said he hopes his team continues to keep an unsatisfied attitude.

"My goal is not to win one game and then let up," Williams said. "My mindset is always to win every game we play. I don't care who it is in our lineup, young or whoever the guy is, we're going to try to win games. .. I'll enjoy this for about 15 more minutes and then I'll start thinking about the next game."

Notes: Nelson's double-double was his fourth of the season. ... Williams said Gordon, who hasn't played yet this season, could be ready to play Saturday when New Orleans hosts Charlotte. He said Gordon is taking time to get back into playing shape. "We've got to make sure he's at a good pace before he comes back," Williams said. ... Magic F Hedo Turkoglu (broken hand) is making progress toward returning as well. Vaughn said they, too, are being cautious about getting him ready for game action following the Nov. 2 injury. "He needs some more practices," Vaughn said. "He's got to get hit on that hand a few times."... Wednesday was the first game in Orlando for Hornets G Austin Rivers as an NBA player. The rookie played high school basketball at nearby Winter Park High School.

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Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower.