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Archive for Thursday, March 6, 2003

Magic’s McGrady nets 48

Gooden totals 26 points, 16 rebounds in Orlando victory

March 6, 2003

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— Sometimes, the Orlando Magic's best offense is to hand the ball to Tracy McGrady and back off.

McGrady scored 48 points as Orlando won for the seventh time in eight games by beating the Milwaukee Bucks, 111-99, Wednesday night.

"You don't say a word, you don't call a play," Orlando coach Doc Rivers said. "You get out of the way and make sure everyone is spaced."

McGrady shot 17-for-34 from the field and 8-for-13 from the line for his eighth 40-point game of the season.

"I was rolling. I felt like I could make anything happen on the basketball court," said McGrady, who also had 10 rebounds for his 15th double-double.

An admiring Gary Payton added: "He was playing like he was on a playground."

Former Kansas University standout Drew Gooden had 26 points, a career high, and 16 rebounds for his sixth double-double in seven games since coming from Memphis in a Feb. 19 trade. Gordan Giricek, also acquired from the Grizzlies, scored 15 points.

McGrady tried hard for his second 50-point game of the year and third of his career, but his missed a shot and twice turned the ball over in the final 1:37. Earlier in the quarter, Rivers tried to sit his superstar but McGrady waved him off.

"I was just in one of those moods and I didn't want to come out of the game," said McGrady, who played 43 minutes.

In the final 2:45 of the third quarter, McGrady scored 13 straight points as Orlando seized a 89-66 lead. He made six of nine shots, including all three three-point tries, for 16 points in the period.

Orlando (32-30) climbed two games over .500 for the first time since Jan. 22 while winning for the fifth straight time on its home court. The Magic also extended their lead over the Bucks for the seventh playoff seed to 11/2 games.

"We have 20 crucial games left, unfortunately, because that's the position we put ourselves in," Rivers said.

Before the Magic's recent hot streak, they had lost eight of 10.

For the Bucks, Payton and Michael Redd each scored 16 points. Sam Cassell had 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists despite foul trouble while Tim Thomas also added 15 points.

Lakers 97, Pacers 95

Los Angeles -- Robery Horry hit a 20-foot jumper at the final buzzer to give Los Angeles a victory over Indiana on a night when Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 10,000 career points. Bryant scored 20, Shaquille O'Neal had 26 points and coach Phil Jackson returned to the bench after a three-game absence.

Suns 98, Trail Blazers 92

Phoenix -- Stephon Marbury scored 33 points, his second 30-plus effort in as many nights, and Phoenix improved to 3-0 against Portland this season. Marbury, coming off a 35-point, 48-minute performance in the Suns' 104-97 victory at San Antonio, topped 30 points for the ninth time in 14 games. He was 12-for-22 shooting and 6-for-6 from the foul line in 46 minutes as the Suns snapped Portland's four-game winning streak.

Kings 96, Timberwolves 95, OT

Sacramento, Calif. -- Chris Webber had 25 points and 11 rebounds and put the Kings ahead for good in overtime, helping Sacramento defeat Minnesota. Webber, who had five points in overtime, made a jump hook in the lane over Kevin Garnett, putting the Kings ahead 89-87.

Grizzlies 96, Nuggets 86

Memphis, Tenn. -- Stromile Swift scored a season-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Memphis defeated Denver, sending the Nuggets to their 14th consecutive loss. The Nuggets are in the midst of the franchise's longest losing streak since a 16-game skid in 1998.

Jazz 94, SuperSonics 83

Salt Lake City -- Karl Malone scored 23 points to lead Utah in scoring for the ninth straight game as the Jazz defeated Seattle, snapping the SuperSonics' five-game winning streak. Andrei Kirilenko scored 11 of his 19 points in the third quarter and pulled down 11 rebounds in his second straight start for Matt Harpring (sprained ankle). DeShawn Stevenson finished with 13 points.

Wizards 99, Clippers 80

Washington -- Michael Jordan rushed back from an injury to face a sloppy, disorganized Los Angeles team. With Jordan playing just 24 minutes one night after a bout of back spasms, Washington had all five starters in double figures. Moving gingerly and grimacing at times, Jordan finished with 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting with nine rebounds.

Celtics 97, Knicks 95

Boston -- Antoine Walker scored 34 points and Tony Battie blocked the potential game-tying shot in the final seconds as Boston beat New York for the eighth consecutive time. The Celtics took a two-point lead when Battie hit one of two free throws with 12.8 seconds left. Howard Eisley drove the lane and passed out to Latrell Sprewell, who fired up an airball from three-point range.

Hawks 111, Cavaliers 105

Cleveland -- Jason Terry scored 24 points with a career-high 14 assists and Dion Glover made a key steal in the final two minutes, leading Atlanta past Cleveland. Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Glenn Robinson added 23 points apiece for the Hawks, who struggled to put the lowly Cavs away.

Rockets 97, Raptors 95

Toronto -- Yao Ming scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as Houston ended a four-game losing streak. Yao also grabbed nine rebounds before a crowd filled with fans from Toronto's Chinese community. He attracted approximately 50 media members from the city's Asian television, radio and newspaper outlets. A Rockets spokesman said it was by far the biggest media turnout for Yao in any NBA city.

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