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NBA briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2001


Magic loses despite 49 by McGrady

WASHINGTON -- Tracy McGrady scored a career-high 49 points, but the Orlando Magic could have used a few more as they try to improve its playoff seeding.

McGrady missed his last shot, a potential game-tying 9-footer with 7 seconds remaining that everyone in the building knew he was going to take, and the Wizards held on to beat the Magic 113-110 Friday night.

Richard Hamilton scored 30 and Christian Laettner matched his season high with 26 as the Wizards ended a six-game losing streak by beating the Magic 113-110 Friday night.

After the Wizards made one of two free throws, McGrady got the ball on the last possession and passed to Pat Garrity, who missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.

The loss kept the Magic from moving into a tie for sixth place with Charlotte in the Eastern Conference. Orlando is one game behind Charlotte; both have three games remaining.

"I don't think we realize how important these last games are and what we're trying to accomplish," McGrady said. "I'm just in a mode right now where I'm trying to carry this team."

McGrady made 19 of 31 field goals, 9 of 14 free throws and had 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 blocks in 44 minutes. He tied the MCI Center points record set by Boston's Antoine Walker in 1998.

McGrady's previous high was 44 points, set twice this season. Orlando is 1-2 when he scores 40 or more.

With Darrell Armstrong missing his second consecutive game with a groin injury, McGrady provided most of the Magic's offense after the first period, scoring 19 of his team's 26 points in the second quarter, 13 of 29 in the third and 13 of 28 in the fourth.

Troy Hudson, making his fourth consecutive start, scored 10 of his 23 in the first quarter for the Magic.

Hamilton made 12 of 19 shots and Laettner was 10-for-13 for the Wizards, who shot 53 percent overall.

Washington avoided setting a franchise record for worst season winning percentage.

McGrady's low point was four consecutive missed free throws that could have slowed a Wizards run early in the fourth quarter.

The Wizards' biggest lead was 106-96 with 3:19 to play.

McGrady made a three-pointer with 1:36 to go and followed with two more baskets to close the Magic within 112-110 with 34.3 seconds left.

Laettner lost the ball out of bounds with 14.4 seconds left, but McGrady couldn't capitalize at the other end.

ARENA: Chastised by public outcry over their initially proposed 4 percent contribution, Magic officials now plan to offer more money for their new arena. Originally, the Magic proposed paying just $10.5-million in cash toward the $250-million arena.

"Now we feel we need to be better listeners," said Magic President Bob Vander Weide. "The reaction suggested sticker shock."

MAVERICKS 101, KINGS 97: Michael Finley scored 31 and Juwan Howard had 26 points and 12 rebounds as host Dallas reached 50 wins for the first time in 13 years.

Mark Cuban, a long-suffering fan who bought the Mavericks last year, missed the milestone because he was suspended for making a gesture at officials during a loss Wednesday. He also was fined $100,000 by the NBA.

Appropriate for a team owned by an Internet billionaire, it was the first pro sports contest broadcast in streaming video over the Internet. The Webcast was available in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

RAPTORS 94, HEAT 82: Vince Carter scored 27 points, including his 5,000th in the NBA, as host Toronto ended Miami's five-game winning streak. Antonio Davis scored 11 of his 25 points in the decisive third quarter and added 13 rebounds for the Raptors. Anthony Carter scored 17 for the Heat, which went more than four minutes without scoring as Toronto used an 11-0 run to open a 92-75 lead.

JAZZ 94, BULLS 83: Karl Malone delivered again, scoring 21 of his 32 points in the second half for visiting Utah, which pulled away in the closing minutes. Malone shot 13-of-22 and had 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Utah, with the fourth best record in the West headed into the playoffs, put the game away with a 19-9 run in the final 5:55.

KNICKS 101, HAWKS 65: Othella Harrington had his highest-scoring game since joining New York, tallying 18 points for the host Knicks, who had their largest margin of victory this season. The Knicks led 33-17 in the first quarter.

PACERS 113, CELTICS 108 (OT): Reggie Miller got angry, then he got even. Called for a technical foul while on the bench in the third quarter, Miller scored 10 of his 29 points in the fourth and added two clinching free throws with 3 seconds left in overtime for host Indiana.

CAVALIERS 97, NETS 91: Andre Miller scored 26 and hit two baskets in the final minute for Cleveland, which broke a 12-game road losing streak.

NUGGETS 108, WARRIORS 92: George McCloud scored 24 for host Denver and Robert Pack (12 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) became the first Nugget player with a triple-double in four years.

SUNS: Penny Hardaway plans to resume practicing today to determine if his surgically repaired left knee is strong enough to allow him to compete in the playoffs.

CLIPPERS: Los Angeles exercised fourth-year contract options on Lamar Odom and Corey Maggette and a second-year option on Jeff McInnis. Odom and Maggette are signed through 2002-03.

Late Thursday

KINGS 107, SPURS 105 (OT): Peja Stojakovic hit a short jumper in the final seconds of overtime as visiting Sacramento set an NBA record for overtime victories in a season with nine. The Kings overcame a season-high 42 points by San Antonio's Tim Duncan.

LAKERS 119, TIMBERWOLVES 102: Host Los Angeles won its season-high sixth straight as Shaquille O'Neal had 31 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. Kobe Bryant, in his second game since missing nine of 10 with a sprained left ankle, had 30 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists.

TRAIL BLAZERS 100, GRIZZLIES 87: Reserve forward Dale Davis had 18 points and 15 rebounds in 29 minutes for visiting Portland, which broke open a close game by outscoring Vancouver 31-17 in the third quarter.

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