Cole, Harris lead Magic to 108-102 win over Pelicans

Mar 9, 2022, 5:35 AM | Updated: 9:21 pm
Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) brings the ball up against the New Orleans Pelicans during th...

Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) brings the ball up against the New Orleans Pelicans during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

(AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Cole Anthony scored 19 points, Gary Harris added 16 in a reserve role, and the Orlando Magic beat the New Orleans Pelicans 108-102 on Wednesday night.

Terrence Ross scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, highlighted by a pair of 3s and a 360-degree, right-handed dunk to help Orlando stunt a New Orleans comeback bid that had briefly cut the Pelicans’ deficit to six. He capped his night with a pair of clutch free throws with 10 seconds left.

“Terrance is very old,” a grinning Anthony said of the 31-year-old Ross, a 10-year veteran. “At times I think that his age is starting to get to him — and then I see him do a 360-degree dunk like that and I’m like, ‘Yeah, he’s got another 10 years.'”

Franz Wagner had 15 points for Orlando, which snapped a two-game skid by leading for nearly the entire game, and by as many as 16 points.

“We did a pretty good job of just defending as a team,” Anthony said. “We were all locked in. We were all tied together on a string. … And at the same time we were getting stops, we turned it into easy offense.”

CJ McCollum scored 32 for the Pelicans, who were playing without leading scorer Brandon Ingram (hamstring) and have lost three straight on the heels of a four-game winning streak. Jonas Valanciunas had 30 points and 15 rebounds for New Orleans.

“Always to see a main guy going down, it’s bad,” Valanciunas said of Ingram’s absence. “We need everybody healthy and everybody performing at their best.”

Despite shooting 22.6% (7 of 31) from 3-point range, the Pelicans pulled as close as 103-100 on McCollum’s shot from just inside the 3-point line with 13 seconds left. Chuma Okeke and Ross combined to make four free throws to hold New Orleans off.

“We’re understanding time, score, situation. We know what to do in these moments down the stretch,” Ross said. “We understand that teams are going to go on runs. It’s just about withstanding that, staying solid, not getting too out of character.”

Orlando opened the game on a 10-3 run and took its first double digit lead when Wagner’s 3 made it 19-8. Ross’ 18-foot pull-up gave the Magic a 30-17 lead after one period and Harris opened the second quarter with a 27-foot 3.

The Pelicans never got closer than 11 in the period, hindered by 35.4% (17 of 48) shooting overall for the half, when they missed 12 of 15 from deep.

Wagner’s cutting layup on a feed from Anthony put the Magic up 56-41 at halftime.

“We just came out flat,” McCollum said, adding that the team may have been feeling some residual fatigue from not just playing in Memphis on Tuesday night, but also dealing with travel delays after that game. “We didn’t play with enough energy to start the game.”

Still, New Orleans rallied to tie it in the third period, during which McCollum scored 14 on a combination of jump shots and runners, including a 3 that made it 73-all and brought the crowd to its feet. Valanciunas scored 10 of his points during that same stretch, hitting four times from between eight and 13 feet.

“I knew it was getting close because I just saw (McCollum) getting bucket after bucket,” Anthony said. “We responded pretty well. We didn’t get flustered, kind of stayed together. I thought we got some pretty good looks and that let us get that lead back up.”

Only moments after New Orleans tied it, Okeke’s driving layup as he was fouled ignited an 10-0 Orlando run that also included Harris’ 3. The Magic took an 83-73 lead on Harris’ reverse layup early in the fourth quarter.

TIP-INS

Magic: Rookie guard Jared Suggs started after missing two games with a sprained right ankle. He had two points, two assists and two rebounds in 19 minutes. … Shot 37.8% (14 of 37) from 3-point range. … Wendell Carter Jr. scored 13 points.

Pelicans: New Orleans announced that Ingram will be out at least a week because of a strained right hamstring that has already caused him to miss two games this week. The timeline for Ingram’s recovery would have him miss at least three more games. … While injured forward Zion Williamson has returned from Oregon to New Orleans to continue rehabilitation of an offseason foot injury, he did not attend the game. “He will be part of what we’re doing moving forward with practices and games in the future,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “He’s definitely a part of our group and we’ll see him tomorrow and the next few days.”

UP NEXT

Magic: Host Minnesota on Friday night in the first of six straight at home.

Pelicans: Host Charlotte on Friday night in the second of four straight at home.

___

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Cole, Harris lead Magic to 108-102 win over Pelicans