NEW ORLEANS – Anthony Davis had 26 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks, and the New Orleans Pelicans opened the regular season with a 101-84 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
Ryan Anderson, coming back from surgery on a herniated disk that cost him more than half of last season, scored 22 points. The Pelicans' new 7-foot center, Omer Asik, had a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds.
The tandem of Davis and Asik dominated the interior. They combined for 16 offensive rebounds, and the Pelicans finished with 32 second-chance points. Davis tied a career high for blocked shots, and Asik's five blocks equaled his career best.
Tobias Harris scored 25 points for Orlando, while Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 23 rebounds.
The Pelicans surged to a 14-point lead late in the third quarter thanks to Anderson. He missed nine of his first 13 shots, but made up for it by scoring 12 points in a span of 1:39.
He started the scoring spree with a three-point play. After Davis hit a 20-footer, Anderson buried three straight 3-pointers, yelling, "That's what I'm talking about," after the second. He didn't hesitate to take the third, which gave New Orleans an 11-0 run to close the quarter and sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The Pelicans' lead got as large as 23 when Asik's putback made it 97-74 with 2:36 left.
Davis could have had his first triple-double and set a franchise single-game high for blocks if he had gotten one more, but coach Monty Williams subbed Davis out — to a standing ovation — with 2:29 left.
Orlando led by as many as six points in the first quarter on Vucevic's layup, but the Pelicans controlled the second quarter and took a 48-41 lead on Davis' putback dunk just seconds before halftime.
Magic: First-round pick Elfrid Payton started in his first NBA game in his hometown. Payton is from suburban New Orleans and played his college ball at Louisiana-Lafayette. Several news outlets from Lafayette sent reporters about two hours east on Interstate 10 to cover Payton's first game. He had four points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Pelicans: Foul shooting plagued the Pelicans in the first half. They missed 11 of their first 14 free throws. Asik missed his first three, but made up for it with 12 points and 11 rebounds before halftime. New Orleans finished 15 of 31 on free throws. ... Holiday played the fourth quarter with stitches and a bandage above his right eye after taking an elbow from Payton. ... While home teams normally wear white in the NBA, the Pelicans wore their new alternate red uniforms, and fans received free red T-shirts. New Orleans will wear red four times this season, all at home.
Orlando hosts the Washington Wizards in its regular-season home opener Thursday night.
New Orleans hosts Dallas on Saturday night.