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McGrady, Miller take over in fourth

©Associated Press
January 13, 2003

PHILADELPHIA -- A morning meeting about ball movement paid off for the Magic.

Tracy McGrady had 34 points and was 13-of-16 from the free-throw line and Mike Miller scored 27 as the Magic handed the struggling 76ers their sixth straight loss, 107-105, Sunday night.

In a meeting on Sunday morning, Orlando players discussed the team's lack of ball movement. Against Philadelphia, the Magic had 25 assists, five more than its season average, and McGrady had eight.

"We were just spreading the love around tonight," McGrady said. "A lot of times guys just stand there and watch me go one-on-one. We talked about it this morning and tonight they were getting open. That made it a lot easier for me."

Miller had 11 points, including three 3-pointers, in the fourth quarter as the Magic overcame an eight-point deficit.

The 76ers, who were led by Allen Iverson's 32 points, had an 86-81 lead early in the fourth before the Magic went on a 13-2 run. A 3-pointer by McGrady, who scored seven points during the run, made it 94-88 with 5:31 remaining.

With the Magic leading 94-91, Miller made two straight 3-pointers to give Orlando a 100-93 lead with 2:47 left.

Philadelphia's Eric Snow made a driving layup before a turnaround jumper by McGrady increased the Magic lead to seven. Four points by Iverson and a jumper by Jacque Vaughn put the Sixers within 104-99 with 1:33 left.

Darrell Armstrong and McGrady combined to make three free throws in the final 22.3 seconds to seal the win.

Pat Garrity and Armstrong each scored 13 for the Magic, which has won eight of its past nine against Philadelphia.

Snow scored 19 and Aaron McKie had a season-high 11 assists for the 76ers, who are on their worst losing streak since dropping seven in a row from Dec. 2-14, 2001. Philadelphia has lost 14 of its past 18 and has lost four straight, including two in overtime, to begin a a six-game homestand.

"This is a nightmare," Sixers coach Larry Brown said. "I look out there and I don't see a lot of confidence. I see the looks on guys' faces, they look like they know Mike Miller's going to make a shot or they're going to get an offensive rebound. We used to win these kinds of games."

RAPTORS 105, WOLVES 91: Morris Peterson scored 20 and host Toronto snapped a 12-game losing streak. Toronto's backcourt of Peterson, Alvin Williams, Lindsey Hunter and newcomer Rafer Alston combined for 53 points as the Raptors won for the first time since Dec. 17 at Milwaukee. Alston, who signed a 10-day contract Wednesday, had 12 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds as the Raptors ended an eight-game home losing streak. Kevin Garnett scored 26 for the Timberwolves.

MAVS 96, CLIPPERS 90: Steve Nash scored 24 points, Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 and Michael Finley added 21 as Dallas won its sixth straight and improved the league's best road record. After two blowout losses at Dallas this season, the Clippers put a scare into the Mavs in the fourth quarter. Neither team led by more than three points for much of the quarter until the Mavs, 13-3 on the road, scored seven straight points to take the lead for good.

SPURS 81, CELTICS 80: Stephen Jackson made a long 3-pointer with 9.6 seconds left to cap a game-ending 8-0 run for host San Antonio. With the Spurs trailing 80-78 with 15 seconds remaining, Jackson inbounded the ball in San Antonio's end then got it back for a 25-footer. Paul Pierce's 17-foot jumper from the wing bounced off the side of the rim as time expired. The Celtics scored 10 points in the fourth quarter after scoring 30 in the third. Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 21 points. Pierce led Boston with 25, but was 9-for-24 from the floor.

SUNS 107, JAZZ 99: Stephon Marbury scored 38 points -- 22 in the second half -- and Shawn Marion added 31 as host Phoenix won its 10th straight home game. Rookie Amare Stoudemire had 17 points and 13 rebounds and scored nine in the fourth quarter, when the Suns pulled away to beat Utah for the first time in three tries. Matt Harpring and Karl Malone scored 26 apiece for the Jazz.

KINGS 106, GRIZZLIES 98: Peja Stojakovic scored a season-high 30 points and had eight rebounds for Sacramento. It was the 10th straight loss for the Grizzlies in Sacramento, where they are 1-15 in franchise history. The Kings have won five of six.

CAVALIERS 87, SONICS 79: Ricky Davis scored 22 as visiting Cleveland snapped a 15-game losing streak against Seattle.

BUCKS: Owner Herb Kohl, a Democratic senator from Wisconsin, has asked a New York investment banking firm and commissioner David Stern to help him assess the franchise and its value and help identify people or investor groups that would have an interest in the team, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Kohl has said that he was open to having a minority investor in the franchise, which he bought in March 1985 for $18-million. He also has said he wanted a minority or majority owner who would demonstrate a commitment to keeping the team in Milwaukee.

ROCKETS: Yao Ming's knee injury is not serious, and he expects to play tonight against Boston. The 7-foot-6 center left Saturday night's game against Denver late in the first quarter with a mild ligament sprain on the outside of his left knee. The Rockets open a four-game homestand that concludes Friday night with the first meeting between Yao and Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal. "The day is finally coming," Yao said.

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