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Magic briefs

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 19, 2002

Season starts in Orlando

ORLANDO -- The Magic hosts the opening game of the NBA's 2002-03 season, playing the 76ers on Oct. 29.

"We're excited the schedule is out, which means we're closer to playing again," general manager John Gabriel said Thursday.

The Magic plays at Miami in the Heat's opener Oct. 30. Miami opens at home for the eighth consecutive season.

The Heat hosts the NBA champion Lakers on Nov. 26.

Orlando's game against the 76ers will be the first of 11 nationally televised games for the Magic, six on ESPN and five on TNT.

After the opener, the Magic hits the road for three straight before returning Nov. 5 for the first of four four-game homestands.

Orlando then leaves for the West Coast for a seasonlong six-game, nine-day trip that begins Nov. 14. The Magic finishes its Western Conference road obligations in mid December, as part of a stretch in which it plays eight of 10 away from home.

"We think the schedule works in our favor in regard to the way our team plays and the way Doc (Rivers, Orlando's coach) approaches each season," Gabriel said.

Orlando's season ends at Milwaukee on April 16.

Last season, Orlando played 14 of its last 21 games at home.

The Magic has 38 games to be played on consecutive nights with no back-to-back home games.

Other highlights of the schedule include:

Hosting the Lakers for a nationally televised game Nov. 27.

Hosting the Pistons on Christmas on ESPN.

A visit to the newest NBA city, New Orleans, on Jan. 3. The Hornets, who eliminated Orlando in the playoffs' first round last season, moved there from Charlotte in the offseason.

If Michael Jordan returns, he and the Wizards visit Orlando on Dec. 6 and 30.

Killing tied to drugs

MAITLAND -- A home invasion at Magic guard Troy Hudson's house last month was drug-related, with a "wholesale amount" of an unspecified narcotic discovered in the dead victim's car, police said.

Detective Mike Brick said witnesses told him the suspects demanded drugs, money and the keys to Hudson's Lincoln Navigator on the night of June 30, after another home invasion three days earlier.

The unspecified narcotic was found in the car of Carrick Reid, 20, who died in an exchange of gunfire with at least two attackers.

"It was a decent quantity of a very illegal substance. It was more than what a drug user would have," Brick said Wednesday.

Hudson, a free agent, leased the house and was not home on either occasion.

Police say Thomas Chenault III, one of two suspects in the killing, recently reneged on promises to surrender. They think he has been out of the state.

Kenthaddeus Taylor, a 25-year-old wounded by Reid during the attack, is in the Orange County jail on charges of second-degree murder and attempted home invasion. Those counts also await Chenault. Police also are looking for an unidentified third suspect.

Police also said they seized a small amount of "a leafy green substance" in one of the bedrooms at the house, but did not test the material to see if it was marijuana, Brick said.

The substance was not in Hudson's bedroom, he said, and is not considered to be related to the home invasions.

Bill Neff, Hudson's New York-based agent, said his client "had no idea of the leafy vegetable" and didn't know anything about Reid's involvement with drugs or guns.

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