Magic overcome Jamison’s big night to down Wizards
Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Hedo Turkoglu scored 26 points, and the
Orlando Magic overcame a Herculean effort by Antawn Jamison to continue to
cruise towards the playoffs with a 95-89 win over the slumping Washington
Dwight Howard was a force, scoring 17 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and
blocking three shots for the Magic, who have won three straight, and five of
six. Orlando, which has clinched a playoff berth, holds the eighth seed in the
Eastern Conference. Grant Hill added 13 points for Orlando.
“We really struggled keeping the Wizards off the glass in the second half, but
fortunately, in the last minutes of the game, we got our bodies on them and
drew a couple of loose-ball fouls,” said Magic coach Brian Hill.
Jamison poured in a season-high 48 points, three short of a career high, and
grabbed nine rebounds. He shot 14-of-26 from the field, and 5-of-9 from behind
the arc. Jarvis Hayes added 15 points for the Wizards, who have dropped two
straight and nine of 11 to fall to 40-41 on the year. This is the first time
the Wizards have been below .500 since Dec. 13, when they were 10-11.
“We want to finish at 41-41,” said Wizards coach Eddie Jordan. “We want to
avoid the losing record.”
Washington fell into a tie with idle New Jersey for the seventh seed in the
Eastern Conference playoffs. The Wizards plays at Indiana on Wednesday, while
the Nets will host Chicago.
The Wizards had a chance to tie the game late but, trailing 91-89, Jamison
missed a leaning jumper with 45 seconds left. Turkoglu stepped up and drilled
10-foot jumper on the following possession and, after another stop, Keyon
Dooling sank two free throws to ice the game.
Washington battled back in the third quarter, cutting to within 73-69 entering
the fourth quarter.
Jamison scored 12 points in the first quarter, including a three with 29
seconds left to pull the Wizards to within 28-27. Howard scored 11 in the
quarter, though, including a jumper with 16 seconds left, and Orlando took a
30-27 lead into the second.
Jamison kept the heat on in the second quarter, scoring another 13 points, but
a late 13-0 Magic run, capped by three Jameer Nelson free throws, put Orlando
up 57-43 with 11 seconds left. The Magic led 57-45 at the break.
Washington’s Etan Thomas tied a career high with six blocks…Darko Milicic
sprained his right ankle, was helped off the court with 7:42 left in the
second quarter, and did not return.