ORLANDO, FLORIDA - The Orlando Magic have had a forgettable December — until Friday night.
Nikola Vucevic had 30 points and 20 rebounds and the Magic snapped a four-game losing streak with a 116-87 rout of the Toronto Raptors.
D.J. Augustin had 17 points and six assists for Orlando, which had five players in double figures and a 60-41 rebounding advantage.
Vucevic became the third player this decade, fifth this century and ninth in the last 44 years to post at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and eight assists in a game, the Magic said. Charles Barkley (three times), DeMarcus Cousins (twice), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George McGinnis, David Lee, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki and Alex English are the other players to accomplish the feat since 1974.
“I think guys understood that it was time for us to turn things around,” Vucevic said. “Tonight everything clicked for us on both ends, but defense is probably the main reason we won.”
After making eight of their first 12 shots, including a couple of 3-pointers by Fred VanVleet, the Raptors took a 19-9 lead. But Toronto made just 11 of its next 51 shots until Kawhi Leonard dunked late in the third quarter with Orlando leading 91-60.
“This is a big boy’s league and these nights happen, it’s nothing new,” VanVleet said. “We are not the first team to lose like this.”
The Magic, who had lost five straight to Toronto, outscored the Raptors 51-16 over a 16-minute span of the middle periods and led by as many as 31 points late in the third quarter.
Leonard scored 21 points for Toronto, which shot 29.5 percent in the final game of a three-game trip. Serge Ibaka added 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Raptors (26-11) came into the game with the best record in the Eastern Conference, but fell percentage points behind Milwaukee with the loss.
“It’s the reality of this league — every team in our league will have a win like that,” Orlando coach Steve Clifford said. “We were good tonight. I thought we were more physical.
“I thought Vucevic was terrific and Aaron Gordon was lights-out. He only took six shots.”
Gordon got most of the credit for holding Leonard to 11 points after the first 10 minutes. Leonard had averaged 30.1 points in the 10 preceding games.
Vucevic scored 12 points during a 21-6 run late in the first half that turned the game around.
Pelicans 114, Mavericks 112
In New Orleans, Anthony Davis hit a go-ahead, fall-away jumper with 43.9 seconds left and scored a season-high 48 points to outduel rookie Luka Doncic and lift the Pelicans over Dallas.
Davis also grabbed 17 boards and New Orleans snapped a five-game skid. The Pelicans dominated in the paint, scoring 70 points, including 22 from Julius Randle.
Doncic scored 34 points and hit 7 of 10 3s.
Hornets 100, Nets 87
In Charlotte, Kemba Walker scored 29 points and made seven 3-pointers, Tony Parker had 17 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Hornets avenged a double-overtime loss to Brooklyn earlier this week.
In Other Games
Bulls 101, Wizards 92
Heat 118, Cavaliers 94
Pacers 125, Pistons 88
Hawks 123, T-Wolves 120 (OT)
Thunder 118, Suns 102
Nuggets 102, Spurs 99
Clippers 118, Lakers 107