Alvin Gentry wanted the Pelicans’ preseason game Wednesday in Orlando to be a dress rehearsal for the regular season.
There’s still plenty of rehearsing left to do.
The Pels lost to the Magic 110-107, committing 22 turnovers, shooting 37.8 percent from the floor and giving up 19 second-chance points.
“A game like this, it’s gonna help us over the long run,” Gentry said in a postgame radio show. “We can kind of figure out who we want taking the ball out, who we think can execute plays and things like that. It helps in that respect. We’ve just got a lot of work that we got to do to tie up a lot of loose ends.”
Those include ironing out some rebounding issues — the Pelicans were outrebounded 56-45 — and working through rotation issues with some key players still missing.
The Pelicans (2-3 in the preseason) played starters Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon their first fourth-quarter minutes of the preseason but still couldn’t reverse a preseason fourth-quarter trend. The Magic outscored the Pels 26-22 in the final quarter. Opponents have outscored the Pelicans 576-546 in the fourth quarters of preseason games.
Davis had 33 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Pelicans, but made 8 of 24 shots. Davis was 17 for 19 from the free-throw line. Nikola Vucevic had 24 points and 14 rebounds for Orlando.
Gordon finished with 14 points on 2-for-7 shooting. He made 9 of 12 free throws.
The Pelicans made 43 of 51 free throws in the game but shot 8 for 25 from 3-point range and 28 of 74 overall from the floor.
With the Pelicans leading 103-101 in overtime, Vucevic made a pair of baskets in the paint, the second putting the Magic in front 105-103 with 2:08 to play. An Evan Fournier 3-pointer gave Orlando a 108-103 lead with 49 seconds left in overtime.
The Pelicans led 58-48 at the half, then saw their offense sputter in the third quarter. After committing seven turnovers in the first half, the Pels had eight in the third quarter. Orlando rallied to take a one-point lead with 2:33 to play in the quarter outscored the Pelicans 27-21, but New Orleans held on to a 79-75 edge entering the fourth.
The Pelicans trailed 99-93 after a long jumper by Vucevic with 1:58 to play in regulation, but Robinson gave New Orleans a spark.
Robinson’s 3-pointer with 1:21 to play cut the lead to three, then he tied the score with a steal and a pull-up 3-pointer with 45.6 seconds to play.
Robinson scored 18 points in 25 minutes on 7-for-11 shooting.
New Orleans played without six injured players — guards Tyreke Evans and Norris Cole, forward Luke Babbitt and centers Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca — expected to be part of the rotation when healthy.
Gentry said before the game that Evans is projected to miss six to eight weeks after arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday.
“If we can just play and keep our head above water,” Gentry said, “I think we’re gonna be a really good team when we get everybody healthy and everybody out there.”