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Magic wins it in homestretch

©Associated Press
April 13, 2003

ORLANDO -- Whether the Magic is peaking will only be known when the season is over. There is no question it is playing well.

Tracy McGrady scored 37 and Gordan Giricek hit the winning 3-pointer with 32.2 seconds left as Orlando rallied to beat Boston 89-86 in the Magic's home finale Saturday.

It was the Magic's third straight win and second comeback victory in two nights.

"Our team believes right now we can beat anyone, anywhere, and that's what we're going to have to have," Orlando coach Doc Rivers said. "We're not going to have homecourt (in the playoffs), so we better have that thought."

Orlando moved into a tie with the Celtics for sixth in the East with two games remaining. Boston has the tiebreaker with a 3-2 record against the Magic.

Boston's Paul Pierce, who scored 25, dunked with 1:16 left to give Boston an 86-82 lead.

But Andrew DeClercq responded with a dunk for the Magic, and Pierce fumbled it away on the ensuing possession to set up Giricek's shot from the corner.

Giricek scored 16, Pat Garrity added 10 and Pat Burke had nine points and eight rebounds.

Jacque Vaughn's free throws with 12.2 seconds gave Orlando some breathing room as the Magic scored the game's last seven.

* * *

MAVS 117, WARRIORS 108: Dirk Nowitzki had 37 points and 12 rebounds and Steve Nash added 21 points and 10 assists as host Dallas got its team-record 58th win and kept alive its chance to win the division. A San Antonio win or Dallas loss will lock the Mavs into the third seed in the West. Antawn Jamison scored 25 for Golden State, which is guaranteed a ninth straight losing season.

NETS 94, RAPTORS 86: Richard Jefferson scored 21 and banked in a 3-pointer from midcourt at the end of the third for laughs as host New Jersey beat undermanned Toronto. Kenyon Martin added 19 points and nine rebounds, and Jason Kidd had 17 points and eight assists as the Nets opened a half-game lead over idle Detroit in the race for the top playoff seed in the East. Morris Peterson scored 22 to lead the Raptors, who only had seven players with Alvin Williams hobbled by an ankle injury.

ROCKETS 101, SONICS 86: Cuttino Mobley scored 13 of his 17 in the third as host Houston kept its slim playoff hopes alive. The Rockets will be eliminated today if Phoenix beats San Antonio. Seattle cut Houston's lead to 50-48 at halftime, but the Rockets went on a 25-5 run to start the third quarter.

HAWKS 101, WIZARDS 100: In his first game with no playoff meaning, Michael Jordan hit a go-ahead shot in the final minute but missed a 20-footer at the buzzer. Ira Newble, who scored a career-high 21, dunked with eight seconds left for the winning basket for visiting Atlanta.

CAVS 104, KNICKS 99 (OT): Ricky Davis scored 37 as host Cleveland rallied. Cleveland trailed by 15 in the fourth before going on a 21-6 run to force overtime at 92-92. The Cavs (16-64) avoided matching the worst record in team history. Cleveland went 15-67 in 1970-71 and 1981-82.

CLIPPERS 101, NUGGETS 79: Rookie Marko Jaric scored 17 to lead five players in double figures as visiting Los Angeles ended a three-game losing streak. Andre Miller added 16 and had nine assists, and Corey Maggette had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

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