The Orlando Magic’s starters played well against the New Orleans Hornets’ starters in the teams’ preseason opener Sunday afternoon. But the Magic’s reserves faltered — at least in the game’s final quarter.
The Magic lost 85-80 at Mexico City Arena after the Hornets outscored them 31-14 in the final period.
E’Twaun Moore, who is fighting for Orlando’s backup point guard job, scored a team-high 16 points to go along with seven assists and three turnovers.
As expected, the veteran Magic starters Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Hedo Turkoglu and Glen Davis played sparingly — no more than 21 minutes for any of them — and they helped stake the Magic to a 21-point lead midway through the third quarter.
Mexico native Gustavo Ayón, the Magic’s starter at center, finished with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists and was the favorite of the announced crowd of 18,133.
Davis had 13 points and five rebounds.
Nelson played energetically, feeding several on-target passes into the low post for layup opportunities. The veteran point guard also took a charge and dived head-first onto the court for a loose ball.
Former Magic power forward Ryan Anderson, who made his Hornets debut, scored just six points and missed 10 of his 11 shot attempts. Winter Park High alumnus and Hornets rookie guard Austin Rivers finished with 10 points.
As expected, Arron Afflalo did not play for the Magic because of a strained left email@example.com. Read his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog and follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.