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Rally keeps Orlando in touch

©Associated Press

February 19, 2003

ORLANDO -- The Magic had every reason to roll over and let the game slip away: Tracy McGrady's shots weren't falling; the Hornets were too big; and a comeback from an early double-digit hole was going for naught.

But Orlando rallied from a 12-point deficit with five minutes left to beat New Orleans 99-94 Tuesday night and snap a three-game losing streak.

The Magic also trailed by 16 after a miserable first quarter, making the comeback the largest of Orlando's season.

"It didn't look good early and it didn't look good late," said Mike Miller, whose layup with 1:05 left put the Magic ahead to stay. "But at the end it looked good."

Miller and McGrady each scored 24 for Orlando. Darrell Armstrong scored 15 and Andrew DeClercq a season-high 14, including seven in a 1:13 span of the fourth quarter to kick start Orlando's comeback.

A loss would have dropped Orlando to a season-worst five games under .500 and 11/2 games out of a playoff berth in the East.

The Magic trailed 89-77 with 5:09 left but Armstrong's 3-pointer tied it at 89 and Miller's shot put Orlando up 93-91. The go-ahead possession was set up by Armstrong drawing a charge against David Wesley 14 seconds earlier.

GRIZZLIES 108, PACERS 103 (OT): Pau Gasol had 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks as host Memphis won its third in four games since the All-Star break. Reggie Miller's 3-pointer as time ran out tied it at 98 and sent the game into overtime. In overtime, the score was tied at 102 with 2:50 left but Memphis outscored Indiana 6-1 the rest of the way.

SPURS 101, NUGGETS 76: Bruce Bowen scored 18 for San Antonio, which played its first home game in 23 days. The Spurs broke open a close game by starting the second quarter with a 15-0 run to take a 36-22 lead on Bowen's layup with 7:01 to play.

NETS 84, HEAT 79: Jason Kidd fed Jason Collins for a go-ahead 3-point play with 1:50 to play, then hit a clinching 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left to lead host New Jersey. The Nets squandered a 17-point, second-quarter lead and fell behind by eight early in the fourth.

MAVERICKS 105, HAWKS 79: Michael Finley scored 26 and reserve Walt Williams added 15 for host Dallas. Dallas opened with a 17-2 run and hit seven of its first eight shots.

BULLS 107, CAVALIERS 101: Jalen Rose scored 28 to help Chicago gain its third road win. With high school phenom LeBron James watching two teams that likely will end up in the draft lottery, the Bulls scored a season-high 39 in the first quarter.

KINGS 102, BUCKS 93: Vlade Divac had 21 points and 19 rebounds and Bobby Jackson scored down the stretch for host Sacramento. Neither team led by more than five until Jackson followed a layup with a 3-pointer with 3:28 to play, putting Sacramento up 96-90. Bucks forward Anthony Mason (strep throat) sat out.

CELTICS 125, WARRIORS 117: Paul Pierce had 31 points and 12 assists for visiting Boston. Bobby Sura's 3-pointer with 3:13 left pulled Golden State within 109-105, capping a 10-0 run, but Boston extended its lead to 10 a minute later.

LAKERS: Center Shaquille O'Neal sat out against Houston with a sore left knee. He also will miss tonight's game at Utah.

ROCKETS: Forward Glen Rice was activated against the Lakers.

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