Cousins does it all as Pelicans smoke Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. -- DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, leading the New Orleans Pelicans to an easy 111-97 victory against the Orlando Magic on Friday night.
The Pelicans (16-16) led from start to finish and snapped a two-game losing streak. The Magic (11-22) lost their seventh consecutive game. It was the third consecutive game in which they never led.
New Orleans guard Jrue Holiday scored 24 points. All-Star forward Anthony Davis had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
It was the first time in the last 13 games the Pelicans held a team under 100 points.
Jonathon Simmons led the Magic with 22 points and eight rebounds. Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and eight rebounds. Elfrid Payton scored 18 points with six assists.
The Pelicans shot 50 percent (43 of 86) from the field and held a 48-40 rebound advantage.
The Magic never got closer than 13 points in the fourth quarter.
Holiday scored 14 in the third period, leading the Pelicans to an 88-72 lead going into the final period. The Magic had cut the deficit to seven early in the period, quickly hitting a 3-pointer.
The Pelicans led 60-50 at halftime after Davis and Cousins had 18 and 15 points, respectively.
New Orleans opened the game by scoring the first nine points and led by as many as 18 points in the second quarter.
Payton had 16 points by halftime when he hit seven of eight shots. The Magic's frustrations were obvious early with four technical fouls in the first half, assessed against coach Frank Vogel, Payton, Marreese Speights and Bismack Biyombo.
Orlando Magic last held a lead on Dec. 15, when they were ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers 13-12 with 4:35 to go in the first quarter.
NOTES: This was the 11th time this season that Cousins and Davis each had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. ... The Magic, who play Saturday night in Washington, still are without Evan Fournier (sprained right ankle) and Aaron Gordon (strained right calf), their two leading scorers. . . . . The Pelicans, who play Saturday in Miami, entered Friday night with the third-longest streak in franchise history of allowing opponents to score 100 or more points. ... Magic F Marreese Speights, who hit six 3-pointers as a reserve against the Pelicans in October, got his first start of the season Friday night. ... Both Gs D.J. Augustin and Elfrid Payton, Magic starters, grew up in the New Orleans area. ... The Magic beat the Pelicans by 16 points in New Orleans.