|Date of game: 10/28/2014
Recap: New Orleans vs. Orlando
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - A healthy Pelicans team is a dangerous one.
Just ask the Orlando Magic following Tuesday's season opener in New Orleans.
Anthony Davis fell one block shy of a triple-double and Ryan Anderson scored 22 points off the bench as the Pelicans pulled away from the Magic for a 101-84 victory at Smoothie King Center.
Davis filled the stat sheet with 26 points and 17 rebounds and accounted for nine of New Orleans' 17 blocks. Omer Asik, acquired in an offseason trade with Houston, donated 14 points and 17 boards in the winning cause.
"I just feel good about the win," Pelicans head coach Monty Williams said. "I'll have to look at the film and see the things that we did well. Obviously, we got a lot of stuff to get better at. I like the fact that we rebounded the ball so well tonight."
Tobias Harris led Orlando with 25 points, while Nikola Vucevic pulled down a game-high 23 rebounds to go with 15 points in the setback.
The Magic won just 23 games last season and traded away leading scorer Arron Afflalo to Denver in the offseason. They are also opening the campaign without second-year star Victor Oladipo, who is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a facial fracture in practice.
Elfrid Payton became the first Magic rookie to open the season opener as the starting point guard. The Louisiana-Lafayette product and Gretna, LA native did not have a memorable homecoming, hitting just 2-of-8 from the floor while finishing with four points and seven assists.
"It was great to get out there and play in front of family and friends," said Payton. "It gives you a lot of confidence."
The Pelicans know all about injuries, with three of their regulars -- Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon and Anderson -- all missing significant time last season.
Anderson missed the final 51 games with a back injury and showed late in the third quarter Tuesday why he's a key cog for New Orleans, which is trying to snap a three-year playoff drought.
In the final 45.4 seconds of the third, Anderson connected three times from behind the arc to turn a five-point lead into a healthy 78-64 cushion.
The margin never dipped into single digits and reached as high as 23 in the fourth quarter.
Vucevic more than held his own against Davis offensively, at least early on. The fourth-year center hit a pair of mid-range jumpers, scored off the offensive glass and muscled over the All-Star with a strong post move en route to a 10-point first quarter.
His efforts helped the Magic take a 25-24 lead into the second, but an 18-7 run -- capped Davis' putback dunk -- gave the Pelicans a 48-41 lead at halftime.
The Pelicans grabbed 26 offensive rebounds and forced twice as many turnovers (18) as they committed.Game Notes
Davis tied his own franchise record for blocks in one game ... Asik also tied
a career best with five blocks ... Aaron Gordon, Orlando's other first-round
draft pick, netted 11 points off the bench ... Holiday received stitches
over his right eye following a collision with Payton in the third quarter.