Magic use huge 2nd half run, upend Suns 115-94
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — In their season opener, the Orlando Magic embraced new coach Jacque Vaughn's free-flowing style and grabbed a surprise lopsided victory.
Sunday night against Phoenix, the Magic again faced what was on paper a faster and more experienced team — and they were missing a pair of veteran starters.
For the second straight game, though, Orlando played like the more cohesive team down the stretch and used a big third-quarter run to rally past the Suns, 115-94.
J.J. Redick had the hottest hand, scoring 24 points, followed by Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis with 22 points each, and Nikola Vucevic adding 18 points and 13 rebounds.
"I just think it was energy," Redick said. "I don't think it was anything to do with our offense. There's only about five or six plays you can run in the NBA. ... It's not necessarily the offense. It's 'how you execute the offense."
The Magic trailed by as many as 13 points early in the second half, but used a 40-point third quarter to build as much as a 21-point cushion in the fourth.
Luis Scola paced the Suns with 24 points and Michael Beasley added 22. But Phoenix's shooting eroded in the second half, falling from 50 percent (23 of 46) in the first half to 35 percent (16 of 45) in the second.
"I think we're struggling somewhat to have consistency offensively," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "We had our moments. ... But we're a work in progress and we continue to work and try to get better and we'll see what happens."
With the victory the Magic opened a season 2-0 for the first time since 2009-10. The Suns lost their fifth straight game in Orlando.
Vaughn had to go to his bench to fill his starting lineup because of injuries to point guard Jameer Nelson and small forward Hedo Turkoglu.
Turkoglu broke a bone in his left hand during the Magic's season-opening victory Friday over Denver. Nelson made it through that game, but afterward was diagnosed with a strained hamstring and groin, and sprained ankle.
Vaughn gave rookie DeQuan Jones and free agent pickup E'Twaun Moore the nod in their place. Moore played with Boston last season, but it was the first NBA start for Jones.
It was hard to tell if the Magic missed a beat without them, though.
The Suns led 71-60 early in the third quarter before the Magic went on a 26-5 run to take an 86-76 edge entering the fourth. In all, the Orlando outscored Phoenix 40-20 for the period, connecting on six 3-pointers and 16 of 24 shots.
At one point during the spurt, Davis knocked a loose ball out of bounds off a Suns' defender and he turned and implored the crowd, which replied by cheering loudly in support.
The Magic rode that boost into the final period and the Suns never really threatened the rest of the way as Orlando continued to get shots to fall in bunches.
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