Maybe the Magic and Jameer Nelson found something they didn’t have last season: a legitimate back-up point guard.

E’Twaun Moore scored a team-high 16 points and added seven assists in the club’s 85-80 preseason opening loss to the New Orleans Hornets in Mexico City on Sunday.

Moore played 27 minutes in relieving Nelson, who started the game and finished with six points and six rebounds.

Nelson didn’t receive much help the last two seasons from Chris Duhon, who was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers this summer in the massive Dwight Howard deal. Now 30 and with a history of injuries, Nelson could use an able back-up during the marathon season.

At 6-3, Moore, who played 38 games with the Boston Celtics last season, also gives the Magic the size they have been lacking at the position.

Moore seized the lead for the point-guard minutes over Ish Smith.  Smith, who was signed as a free agency late last season and re-signed this summer, remained in Orlando as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.

Mexico native Gustavo Ayon started at center in front of his home fans, finishing with 12 points and six boards, as the Magic tipped off their post-Howard era. Although limited offensively, Ayon has a nice feel for the game, and set up a cutting Hedo Turkoglu with a pass for a layup.

Nikola Vucevic, who is also in the running for Howard’s old job, scored just two points but led the team in rebounding with nine.

Vaughn didn’t overextend his veterans and wasn’t bothered after the Magic let a double-digit lead shrink in the second half of this glorified scrimmage across the border.

Brian Schmitz is the Magic Insider for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him at bschmitz@tribune.com. And you can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@magicinsider.