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McGrady, Magic dominate Lakers

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 28, 2002

ORLANDO -- Tracy McGrady had teammates to back him up, and Kobe Bryant didn't.

McGrady and Bryant each scored 38, but Orlando's Darrell Armstrong scored 11 of his 14 in the second half to lead a strong effort by the Magic's reserves in a 112-102 victory over the Lakers on Wednesday night.

The Lakers bench was outscored 24-7, and Andrew DeClercq held Shaquille O'Neal in check in the second half. This happened a night after the Lakers bench was outscored 36-8 in a loss to the Heat.

"I'm not happy with the way guys are coming off the bench and their heads are not in the game," said Bryant, who shot 14-of-31. "If you're going to come off the bench and spell a player for five minutes, you can't have mental lapses."

Bryant also called out teammate Samaki Walker, who was placed on the injured list Tuesday with a strained lower back.

"He is not hurting any more than I am," Bryant said. "I am out there playing, and he should be, too."

Los Angeles lost its seventh straight road game while allowing its most points this season. It also ended a seven-game winning streak against the Magic.

The highly anticipated matchup of McGrady and Bryant, ranked first and third in the NBA in scoring, was thrilling but didn't prove who was better. Bryant had 10 rebounds and McGrady nine assists.

"He's going to get his and I'm going to get mine," McGrady said. "My thing is, I just started getting my teammates involved."

With Grant Hill starting, Armstrong came off the bench for the first time this season. As anticipated, he was rested and ready.

"This role is perfect, because I think you can see how fresh he is," Orlando coach Doc Rivers said.

Mavs 1 win shy of record

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Michael Finley had his way against the league's best defense while leading the unbeaten Mavericks to within one victory of history.

Finley scored a career-high 42 before leaving for good with more than eight minutes left as Dallas defeated the Pistons 102-82.

The 14-0 Mavericks will look to match the best start in history, 15-0 by Washington in 1948-49 and Houston in 1993-94, when they play at Indiana tonight.

"We'll have our hands full in Indiana," Mavs coach Don Nelson said. "If we get beat, it's no big deal."

The big deal against Detroit was the way Finley scored almost at will.

He shot 13-for-28 from the field and 15-for-17 from the line while adding 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals as the Mavericks, for the second time this month, steamrolled the Pistons in a matchup of two of the league's top teams.

After leading by 52 in a 114-75 victory over Detroit on Nov. 9, the Mavs turned this one into a laugher during the third quarter. So comfortable were the Mavs in the fourth that Nelson ran three consecutive isolation plays for Finley to allow him to surpass his high of 39.

SPURS 99, NUGGETS 68: Stephen Jackson scored 22 to lead host San Antonio past Denver, which set an NBA record by scoring three points in the first quarter.

Denver missed 14 consecutive shots after taking a 2-0 lead and trailed 21-3 after one. The points broke the first-quarter record of four scored by Sacramento on Feb. 4, 1987, against the Lakers.

KNICKS 87, RAPTORS 81: Allan Houston scored 30 and Lee Nailon had 10 of his 15 in the fourth quarter as New York won its first road game and spoiled Vince Carter's return to Toronto.

Carter scored 16 in his first game after missing 10 with a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee.

76ERS 83, HEAT 74: Allen Iverson scored 13 of his 36 in the fourth quarter to lead host Philadelphia to its fifth straight victory.

WOLVES 90, KINGS 74: Kevin Garnett had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple double of the season as host Minnesota snapped Sacramento's six-game winning streak.

HORNETS 106, HAWKS 94: Baron Davis had 16 points and 11 assists as New Orleans remained unbeaten at home. Atlanta center Theo Ratliff started after missing a game with the flu.

SUNS 82, NETS 75: Shawn Marion had 22 points for host Phoenix, the last two from the free-throw line after rebounding the miss of Jason Kidd's desperation 3-pointer.

GRIZZLIES 117, SONICS 99: Jason Williams scored a season-high 28 and had six assists as host Memphis won its second straight game.

BUCKS 112, CAVS 80: Sam Cassell scored 30 as host Milwaukee sent Cleveland to its 12th straight loss.

CELTICS 92, BULLS 82: Paul Pierce scored 30 and Tony Battie had 16 points and nine rebounds as host Boston won its fourth straight.

PLAYER SUED: Cavaliers guard Ricky Davis has been sued for damages for a June 1999 auto accident in which Margaret H. Ragan says his negligence caused the wreck that left her injured.

KINGS: Forward Hedo Turkoglu sprained his right wrist in the second quarter and didn't return.

SUNS: Forward Alton Ford was activated from the injured list.

WNBA: The Miami Sol, which has been in the league for three seasons, ceased operations because of the league's recent restructuring. The team's ownership, the Heat Group, said the league's decision to place the responsibility of finding corporate sponsorships and paying players' salaries in the hands of individual teams forced the closure.

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