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Conservative play leads to Magic loss

©Associated Press
April 15, 2003

ATLANTA -- If this was Jason Terry's Atlanta farewell, he went out in style.

Terry scored 23 and the Hawks extended their winning streak to a season-high four games, defeating playoff-bound Orlando 100-84 Monday night.

Ira Newble scored a career-high 23 for the Hawks, who will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Tracy McGrady led the Magic with 22 points, though he did not play in the fourth quarter. The loss meant the Magic can finish no higher than the No. 7 seed in the East. If the Magic loses to Milwaukee in the season finale, it falls to No. 8.

"We wanted to win the game," McGrady said, "but we wanted to keep everybody healthy for the playoffs."

Terry is in the last year of his contract. He didn't let the uncertainty affect his performance, shooting 9-of-11 from the field with two 3-pointers.

Terry wants to return to the Hawks, but the team is poised for a major shakeup. The franchise is for sale, general manager Pete Babcock was fired and it is unknown if coach Terry Stotts will return.

Drew Gooden, returning from a toe injury, scored 15 for Orlando.

Newble, getting more chances to score with Glenn Robinson out, was coming off a 21-point game at Washington in which he scored the winning basket.

This time, the defensive specialist did better, setting his career mark on a couple of free throws with 1:51 left.

Atlanta closed the third with a 13-4 spurt. Terry led the way with a steal and five points, hitting a 3-pointer that gave the Hawks a 72-59 lead. The Magic never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.

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