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Magic can't stop Wiz

Associated Press
Published November 11, 2004

WASHINGTON - Grant Hill offered another encouraging sign in his comeback from a string of ankle injuries the past few years, but he wasn't enough to lift the Magic, which lost 106-96 to the Wizards on Wednesday night.

Hill led Orlando with 24 points, six rebounds and four assists. Steve Francis added 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

"I really, really enjoy the fact that we have other options with Grant," Francis said. "I think Grant has displayed that he's not going to take a night off."

Hill, who shot 10-for-22 and had six rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes, said his body felt good after playing back-to-back nights but he still needs to improve his conditioning.

"I feel great," he said. "I was a little disappointed in myself because I thought I got a little tired out there at the end of the game. My endurance and my legs are coming back but it's not where I want it to be. I've got to get ready to answer the call. For me, this was a good test tonight and I thought I did pretty good."

Larry Hughes and Antawn Jamison each scored 26 points to lead Washington. Jarvis Hayes added 15 points for the Wizards, who snapped a two-game skid and won at home for the first time this season.

"Both of the games we've lost, we let them get away," Francis said. "We can't get those back. The only way we can get them back is by beating teams we're not supposed to beat. Hopefully, we learned that."

With 10 rebounds, Magic forward Dwight Howard became the first NBA rookie to grab double-digit boards in his first five games since Orlando's Shaquille O'Neal in 1992-93. O'Neal went on to accomplish the feat in his first 12 games in the league.

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