Nelson lifts Magic over Bobcats 92-83

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm •  Published: December 11, 2013
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Magic coach Jacque Vaughn had been eagerly awaiting the return of Nikola Vucevic to his starting lineup.

The 7-foot center showed why Wednesday night.

Vucevic had a double-double in the first half after missing the last four games with a sprained left ankle, Jameer Nelson had 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Orlando Magic snapped a six-game losing streak with a 92-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Glen Davis added 17 points and 12 rebounds and Arron Afflalo chipped in with 16 points.

"We needed this one," Davis said. "We needed it bad. We are a good team. We just all got to be healthy, you know what I mean? Look at what Nik did out there today. We've been missing that. It's been tough for us in the paint. He loosens everything up for me, most definitely. Him being a factor out there, people have to guard him and also he's going to get rebounds and help us with fast-break points."

Orlando had 36 points in the paint and outrebounded the Bobcats 52-41. The Magic scored 17 points off second-chance points, many of those rebounds kept alive by Vucevic.

Vucevic, who was a game-time decision, finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.

"Just overall you see rotation-wise, we were a little bit more concrete and had a little bit more flow to our rotations tonight," Vaughn said. "We had favorable matchups at different parts of the game, and when he can match up against Al Jefferson that's pretty good for us."

Nelson came up with a big 3-pointer late for the Magic, and also had seven rebounds and six assists while outplaying opposing point guard Kemba Walker.

The Magic led by four with just over a minute remaining in the game when Nelson knocked down a 26-footer from the top of the key to push the lead to 86-79. The Bobcats cut it back to five, but Nelson beat Walker on a drive for a layup to push the lead back to seven with 42 seconds left and essentially seal the victory.

Seven Orlando players finished in double figures in scoring.

"I think that is how we have to play," Vucevic said. "We don't really have a go-to guy on this team that is going to score 20 a game. You got to have a different guy scoring."

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