The Anthony Davis saga continues to hang over the New Orleans Pelicans as they host the suddenly hot Orlando Magic on Tuesday. Davis will be playing in front of the home fans for the second time since his trade request wasn't honored and he heard many jeers Friday in his first outing since the deadline.
Davis played 34 minutes on the second end of a back-to-back in Saturday's 99-90 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Pelicans considered not playing him again for the rest of the season when they didn't move him but the NBA reportedly threatened the team with a $100,000 per game fine if a healthy Davis was benched. Orlando has matched its season best of three straight victories while winning five of its last six games, including back-to-back road wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks. "I mean, it feels great, but at the same time we can't get comfortable because we're still behind and we're still not in the place that we want to be right now," point guard D.J. Augustin told reporters. "So we've got to keep fighting until the end of the season. Hopefully, we can fight our way and earn our way into the playoffs."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Florida (Orlando), FS New Orleans LINE: Pelicans -4.5
ABOUT THE MAGIC (24-32): All-Star center Nikola Vucevic is playing superb with double-doubles in 11 of the past 14 games and 39 overall to lead Orlando's surge. He had 19 points and 12 rebounds in Sunday's 124-108 win over the Atlanta Hawks and received help from second-year forward Jonathan Isaac, who had 17 points and tied a career best with five blocked shots - his sixth straight outing of two or more rejections. "It's just about comfortability for me," Isaac told reporters. "The more and more comfortable that I get and the more time I spend playing the game at this level, the better I feel that I'm going to do. I think that's showing offensively and defensively now and I just want to keep it rolling."
ABOUT THE PELICANS (25-32): Rookie guard Kenrich Williams recently began receiving increased playing time and had his first career double-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in the loss to Memphis. Williams has played 30 or more minutes in each of the past seven contests and has a high scoring game of 21, a high rebounding game of 16 and twice made four or more 3-pointers during the stretch. "He is going to play a good game almost every night because he is going to do something on the floor that can help you and (Saturday) I thought he came up with a lot of offensive rebounds that were just strictly hustle rebounds," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters after the loss.
1. Davis averaged 29.5 points and 10.5 rebounds as the team's split last season's two meetings.
2. Orlando reserve swingman Terrence Ross is averaging 23.8 points over the past four games.
3. New Orleans backup C Jahlil Okafor (ankle) could miss his third straight game.
PREDICTION: Pelicans 106, Magic 103 Bet Now
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