Pelicans glad to finally hold an opponent under 100 points, even if it’s the struggling  Magic
Anthony Davis and the Pelicans held the Suns below 100 last month and manages to do it again only this time against the Magic. AP

ORLANDO, Florida — The New Orleans Pelicans were encouraged by holding an opponent under 100 points, even though it was the struggling Orlando Magic.

DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, and the Pelicans never trailed Friday (Saturday, Manila time) in a 111-97 win over Orlando.

Anthony Davis added 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday had 24 points for New Orleans, which had given up 108 points or more in 12 straight games, including eight losses.

"When we defend, it gives us a chance to get out and run," Davis said. "When guys get looks in rhythm, they get easy looks at the rim. If we defend, nine times out of ten we're going to have a great game offensively."

The loss was the seventh straight for the Magic, who have not led at any point in their last three games.

Jonathon Simmons led the Magic with 22 points. Nikola Vucevic added 21, and Elfrid Payton had 18 points and six assists.

The Pelicans (16-16) shot 50 percent and had a 48-40 rebounding advantage.

Playing without three of their top six scorers, the Magic shot 4-for-20 from 3-point range.

"We don't have a lot of good shooters in our lineup, so our shooters have to hit shots," Magic coach Frank Vogel said. "They didn't tonight."

Davis made 9 of 11 shots and scored 18 points while leading New Orleans to a 60-50 lead at the end of a first half in which the Magic were called for four technical fouls.

Holiday and E'Twaun Moore hit 3-pointers as the Pelicans opened the game with a 9-0 run, and they led by 18 early in the second quarter.

Simmons' layup early in the second half reduced New Orleans' lead to seven, but Holiday and Cousins answered with 3-pointers and the Pelicans pulled away to a lead that reached 27 in the fourth quarter.

"Some of our best players are out, but we have to find a way to compete and stay close in games," Vucevic said.

Marreese Speights, who came off the bench with six 3-pointers in Orlando's victory at New Orleans on Oct. 30, got his first start for the Magic (11-22). He scored seven points in 17 foul-plagued minutes.

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