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Toronto fans' boos give McGrady boost

©Associated Press

January 20, 2003


TORONTO -- Tracy McGrady showed Raptors fans what they are missing.

McGrady had 35 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists against his former team, leading the Magic to a 101-93 victory Sunday.

McGrady, who played three seasons in Toronto before signing with Orlando as a free agent, was 14-of-31 from the field.

The league's leading scorer was booed throughout the game.

"Thank you for booing me," McGrady said. "You are doing me a favor really, because when they boo me like that it just gives me more motivation to play.

"I enjoy the challenge and I enjoy the boos. Keep on booing me every time I come back. Please, please, Toronto, please keep doing it."

McGrady was 3-of-10 from the field in the first quarter before finding his range.

"I was rushing things. I was a little overexcited to be back here," he said. "I was listening to the boos every time I touched the ball, but once I found my rhythm, I was back to normal."

Jacque Vaughn added 15 points and Pat Garrity scored 13 for Orlando, which ended a two-game losing streak despite missing Grant Hill and Mike Miller.

Miller sprained his right ankle in practice Saturday and Hill was put on the injured list because of chronic pain in his surgically repaired left ankle.

Morris Peterson scored 25 for the Raptors, who have lost three straight and 15 of 17. All-Star Vince Carter missed his 21st straight game with a strained right knee.

Orlando's Darrell Armstrong said McGrady relished the booing.

"He was laughing at it. He rides that to the fullest," Armstrong said. "The boos really mean "We miss you T-Mac. We wish you were still here.' He loves to come back up here and play."

Two free throws and a jumper by McGrady gave Orlando a 17-point lead late in the third quarter. Toronto closed within seven on a dunk by Jerome Williams with 6:20 left.

McGrady followed with a jumper and Peterson countered with a 3-pointer.

McGrady then had an assist on Garrity's 3-pointer, giving Orlando a 96-87 lead with 3:10 left.

After a layup by Peterson, a triple-teamed McGrady made a jumper with 2:18 left.

Toronto's Antonio Davis made two free throws, and Jerome Williams dunked, cutting the deficit to five with 1:34 left. But Lindsey Hunter missed a fadeaway jumper with less than a minute left.

Hunter said McGrady was the difference.

"He is who he is. He took over the game when he had to," Hunter said.

SONICS 85, MAVERICKS 81: Rashard Lewis scored 19 points, made a turnaround jumper with 43.1 seconds remaining and hit two free throws with 10.3 seconds left as host Seattle handed Dallas its third straight loss.

Peja Drobnjak scored 19 in a rare reserve role for the Sonics, and Kenny Anderson scored 13 and made a key jumper from the left corner with 1:49 to play. Dirk Nowitzki had 15 points and 14 rebounds for Dallas and Michael Finley scored 16.

French guard Antoine Rigaudeau made his debut for the Mavericks. The 31-year-old, who signed Friday, spent the first quarter being tutored on the bench by point guard Avery Johnson. Rigaudeau entered with 8:33 left in the second and played five scoreless minutes.

INSTANT REPLAY: NBA senior vice president Stu Jackson said the three officials who took 17 minutes to review a shot in Saturday night's game between the Pacers and Pistons will be reprimanded but not punished.

"They exceeded the allotted amount of time for the replay. From that standpoint, we wish that they had handled it differently," Jackson said. "The officials should have confined themselves to the allotted time."

The Pacers won 88-86 on a last-second shot by Jermaine O'Neal, but Joe DeRosa, Jess Kersey and Courtney Kirkland far exceeded the two minutes the league allows to decide if O'Neal released the shot in time.

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