Davis leads Pelicans past Magic, 101-84

Anthony Davis had 26 points and tied a career high with nine blocked shots while Ryan Anderson added 22 points off the bench to lift host New Orleans to a season-opening win.

Davis and Omer Asik had 17 rebounds apiece and Asik added 14 points and five blocks in his debut with the Pelicans, who survived some early issues at the free-throw line. Anderson, who was playing his first regular-season game since suffering a herniated disc at Boston on Jan. 3, hit all three of his 3-pointers during a key third-quarter surge.

Tobias Harris led Orlando with 25 points while Nikola Vucevic had 15 and 23 boards. Aaron Gordon scored 11 points off the bench and fellow rookie Elfrid Payton handed out seven assists for the Magic, who lost the turnover battle 18-9 and were outscored in the paint by a 64-48 margin

Davis and Asik combined for 24 points and 20 rebounds in the first half as New Orleans grabbed a 48-41 advantage despite making only 3-of-14 free throws. Orlando rallied to grab a one-point lead early in the third quarter and was within three late in the stanza before Davis knocked down a jumper and Anderson hit three straight 3-pointers in a 45-second span, including a buzzer-beater to make it 78-64 entering the fourth.

Harris grabbed a rebound and went the other way for a layup to cut the Magic’s deficit to 11 points with under nine minutes remaining, but Eric Gordon answered with a three-point play for New Orleans. Orlando endured a scoreless stretch of over four minutes while falling behind by as many as 23 down the stretch, sealing just the fifth loss in its last 15 season-openers.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Magic F Channing Frye was inactive as he works his way back from a left knee injury. … Pelicans G Jrue Holiday left midway through the third to get stitches above his right eye. He returned in the fourth and finished with eight points. … Davis is averaging 24.7 points, 17.7 rebounds and 6.3 blocks in his last three games vs. Orlando.

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