The center of Orlando Magic, Nikola Vucevic (9), is fighting under the basket against the center of New Orleans Pelicans, Jaxson Hayes (10) in, fouled the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, December 15, 2019. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert)
NEW ORLEANS – Jonathan Isaac had 21 points and 10 rebounds and the Orlando Magic defeated New Orleans 130-119 on Sunday and sent the Pelicans to their 12th consecutive loss.
“We just have to play better. We have to play better, ”said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. "We just have to keep going and we'll try to find out."
Gentry was expelled at the end of the third quarter after receiving two technical fouls after complaining about an office. It was his first sput of the season.
Orlando Center Nikola Vucevic returns from a sprained ankle and scores 20 points. He played 29 minutes in his first game since November 20.
"I'm really happy to be back at last," said Vucevic.
His teammates were very happy about the All-Star-Center.
"He only knows how to play," said Isaac. "He is a great player. I think he is slowing the game down for us and his ability to save us with supplements and shots is real (important to us)."
The Magic ran a three-game losing streak.
Jrue Holiday led the pelicans with 29 points and eight assists. J.J. Redick added 23 points against the team that drafted him in the first round in 2006.
"It is difficult to lose. It is also difficult to win, so I think we just have to try to stay positive," said Holiday.
The Magic led 58-57 at halftime and pulled away a third of 41 points. Isaac had 11 points in the quarter.
Orlando achieved a season high of 17: 3 and shot 50% from a distance. The Magic shot a total of 51.2% from the field and had only eight sales.
Magic: D.J. Augustin had 17 points and Even Fournier 16 points. On Saturday evening, Augustin, a New Orleans-born athlete, was the first athlete to drop his jersey off at Brother Martin High School. Augustin, wearing No. 14, led the school to two Louisiana State Championships and is the program's career scoring leader.
Pelicans: Brandon Ingram added 21 points, but early foul problems limited him to 27 minutes. … Guard Josh Hart scored 20 points. … Before the game, Gentry repeated that the team was "overly cautious" with Zion Williamson, who has not played this season due to a knee injury. "He is still in the rehab phase. He does a lot of things. Nobody wants to return to the square as much as he does – trust me."
Magic: Tuesday night in Utah.
Pelicans: host Brooklyn on Tuesday evening.
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