The night started with glimpses into the Orlando Magic's past: a video montage that included Nick Anderson's playoff steal from Michael Jordan, an acrobatic dunk by Tracy McGrady and a game-winning shot by Hedo Turkoglu. But over the two hours that followed, youngsters Maurice Harkless, Victor Oladipo, Kyle O'Quinn and Nik Vucevic offered hope for the future. Ignited by their inexperienced nucleus and Arron Afflalo, the Magic celebrated their regular-season home opener by dominating the New Orleans Pelicans 110-90 at Amway Center. "We wanted to go out there and stand for something," O'Quinn said. "Get in front of the fans, the home fans, and at least protect something, protect the home court. I think that was our fuel tonight, the energy that was in the gym, all the 25th-anniversary stuff." The Magic (1-2) took control in the second quarter and never gave the Pelicans (0-2) room to recover as McGrady and his family watched from courtside seats across from the Orlando bench. Magic officials infused the night — the kickoff to their silver-anniversary festivities — with pageantry. Stuff, the team's mascot, rappelled from the arena ceiling after the national anthem. Smoke and pyrotechnic effects spiced up the team's pregame introductions, and point guard Jameer Nelson, the team's longest-tenured veteran, received the loudest ovation. Even Gov. Rick Scott attended the game, taking in the game from a luxury suite, team officials said. Soon, the Magic's two losses to begin the season seemed like a distant memory, even Wednesday night's overtime heartbreaker in Minneapolis. "These guys have gotten so much better, it makes the game so much easier for me," said Afflalo, who scored a game-high 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting. The Magic received contributions from almost every healthy segment of their roster. Harkless played more aggressively than he did all October, scoring 20 points and collecting eight rebounds. Oladipo added 10 points, six rebounds and six assists and a dazzling block of a 6-foot-11 center's dunk attempt. And Vucevic scored 10 points and gathered seven boards.
Magic dominate Pelicans 110-90 in the regular-season home opener
Orlando Sentinel | Nov 2