Ryan Anderson received a warm — but not overwhelming — greeting Wednesday night, when the Orlando Magic hosted Anderson's New Orleans Hornets.
Anderson entered the game with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter, prompting many in the crowd to applaud him.
Anderson hadn't stepped foot inside Amway Center since July 12, the day he visited the Orlando Pro Summer League and also said his farewells to Magic staffers following the sign-and-trade deal that sent him to New Orleans.
"I spent so much time in here, it just feels weird," Anderson said after the Hornets completed their shootaround. "It feels sort of like I'm walking back in after the offseason or something like it might feel after a few months break. At the same time, I have a lot of memories in here. So when I first walked in here, I sort of relived a couple of those memories."
Before tipoff, Anderson said hello to Magic staff members and some of the arena's ushers.
But just how different are the Magic these days?
Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis and Ish Smith are the only players on Orlando's roster whom Anderson played with — and Turkoglu and Davis sat out Wednesday's game because of injuries.
Another Hornets player enjoyed a homecoming Wednesday.
Winter Park High graduate Austin Rivers played his first game in Central Florida as a pro.
Rivers arrived in town Monday night and spent Christmas Day with his family, except for his dad, Doc Rivers, who was coaching the Boston Celtics to a 93-76 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Austin Rivers said he expected more than 80 family members and friends to attend the Hornets-Magic game.
"I'm just going to try to treat it like another game because that's basically what it is," he said. "As far as all my friends and family and people being here, you just have to view it as what it is. You can't really focus on it. It's no different than when I was in high school.
"It's not like I'm not used to it," he added. "It's only a year and a half ago [since I played for Winter Park]."
Rivers began the day averaging 7.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
"He's one of those guys where he wants it so bad that there are times where he can get frustrated with not being Michael Jordan today, and that's what I love about him," Hornets coach Monty Williams said before tipoff. "His competitive nature is off the chart. He's not afraid of any situation. He's had glimpses of the player that we think he's going to be in the future consistently."
• Magic coach Jacque Vaughn reiterated what he said Monday about Turkoglu, who is nearing a return after breaking his left hand Nov. 2. Vaughn said again that Turkoglu needs some scrimmages before he's ready to play in a game.
• Vaughn was asked to describe how his Christmas went. "I ate too much," Vaughn said. "A lot of presents were food, and I don't like to be rude. If someone gives you a gift, in this instance, you have to taste it. So that made for a long day."
• The Magic had not allowed any opponent to score 100 or more points since Dec. 2, a 113-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The streak stood at 11 games entering Wednesday.
• Anderson has a shaggy beard these days. Asked why by Fox Sports Florida sideline reporter Dante Marchitelli, the affable power forward responded, "I don't know how long I'm going to do it, but I definitely look borderline [like a] wizard. There's levels of beard. I'll explain it to you later."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun