Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/26/12
ORLANDO -- New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams was happy his team broke an 11-game losing streak Wednesday night, but by the time he reached the team bus outside Amway Arena, he was focused more on how to start a winning streak. Playing well changed everything. Center Robin Lopez scored a season-high 29 points, and guard Greivis Vasquez added a career-high 27 points, leading the Hornets to a hard-fought, 97-94 victory over the Orlando Magic. "We won a game, and I'm happy about it, but my goal was not to win one game here and let up," Williams said. "My mind-set is to win every game. I might enjoy this one for about 15 minutes, but then it's getting ready for the next one. Our guys just said, 'Enough already.' This was about as physical as we've been for an entire 48 minutes." Lopez added, "We were going to scrap, hustle and get stops, but it's just one game. We want to string together a few of these." The Hornets (6-22) shot 50 percent from the field, but it was their defense that had Williams so optimistic. New Orleans held Orlando without a field goal through the final six minutes. Lopez had two of his three blocked shots in the final three minutes. The Hornets, the youngest team in the NBA and with two rookies in the starting lineup, won on the road for the first time since beating the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 26. "We talked about defense and playing our style of basketball for 48 minutes," Williams said. "It's something we haven't been able to do. I thought our defense showed some growth tonight. We'd like to be able to do that on the fly." The Magic (12-16) lost their third consecutive game. Point guard Jameer Nelson had a season-high 28 points and 10 assists, but he also committed a costly six turnovers, including three in the fourth quarter when the Magic struggled. Orlando hit just five of 24 shots in the fourth period while scoring just 18 points. Vasquez, the third-year pro from Venezuela, scored the last four points, including two free throws with 18.7 seconds remaining. The Magic took their last lead, 94-93, on two free throws by J.J. Redick with 1:34 remaining. Magic center Nikola Vucevic missed the potential tying 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left. Vucevic had 19 points and nine rebounds. Arron Afflalo had 14 points for Orlando, and Redick added 12. The Hornets led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter after getting back-to-back baskets from reserve Dominic McGuire. The Magic narrowed the deficit to two going into the fourth period. The Magic shot 62.2 percent from the field (23 of 37) in the first half and led 53-49 at the break. Vucevic had 14 points and Nelson 13 before intermission. Lopez was smoking early, making his first eight shots before he missed one late in the second quarter. He had 19 points by halftime. Hornets forward Ryan Anderson, in his first game back in Orlando since a sign-and-trade deal sent him to New Orleans this summer, had 15 points. New Orleans rookie Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, had 12 points and 11 rebounds. NOTES: Guard Eric Gordon, who led the Hornets in scoring last season, is expected to make his season debut Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats, Williams said. Gordon has been out with a sore right knee. "We want to make sure he is in the right frame of mind when he comes back, because he can change the way we play," Williams said. ... New Orleans rookie guard Austin Rivers was thrilled to be playing in front of his hometown crowd in Orlando, where he was such a high school star not too long ago. He finished with four points in 28 minutes. Although his first season has been up and down, he has impressed Williams. "He's one of those guys who wants it so badly," Williams said. "He can get frustrated because he's not Michael Jordan today. He's got some things you just can't teach. And he's tougher than I thought he would be." ... Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu missed his 27th consecutive game with that broken left hand, but he could return as early as this weekend. He has started practicing with the team again, going through all the drills. The only thing he hasn't done yet is full contact play. "He just needs some (more) practice. We haven't scrimmaged yet. He's gotta get hit in the hand (in practice)," Vaughn said. ... Anderson is on pace to break the NBA's single-season record for most 3-pointers (269), set by Ray Allen (2005-06 season). Anderson went into Wednesday's game with 88 3-pointers, which was seven more than Allen had after the same amount of games in his record-setting season. He went 1-for-5 from long distance against the Magic. ... The Hornets return to action at home against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. The Magic travel to Washington to play the Wizards on Friday.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’


Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Report: David Lee signs with the Spurs

Craig Sager to miss Olympics while undergoing bone marrow transplant

Jarryd Hayne wouldn’t have retired if NFL had minor league system

Draymond Green: ‘Me and LeBron are friends’

Pierre-Paul won't need to wear club on hand this season

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

Cam Talbot thinks the Oilers are close to making the playoffs

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker