Magic get defensive in win

Published: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

ORLANDO — Jameer Nelson made four free throws in the final 28 seconds and scored a season-high 29 points in the Orlando Magic's 91-86 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

Dwight Howard had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic, who gave up only two field goals to the Clippers in the last 5 minutes. Hedo Turkoglu and Trevor Ariza had 14 points apiece for Orlando.

Corey Maggette led Los Angeles with 20 points, but the Clippers struggled to score in the second half. Elton Brand had 15 points and Tim Thomas finished with 13, but each of them scored only two points in the second half.

Turkoglu hit three straight long-range jumpers, including a 3-pointer, to start the Magic on a 13-6 run in the middle of the fourth quarter. Nelson finished the run with a fastbreak layup that made it 84-75 with 4:15 left.

Cuttino Mobley made a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left to cut it to 89-86 and Magic rookie J.J. Redick threw away the inbounds pass to give Los Angeles one last try at tying it. Thomas got open for a 3-pointer, but shot an airball.

Nelson closed out the scoring with a pair of free throws.


LeBron James scored 19 points, Larry Hughes added 18 and the Cleveland Cavaliers' defense smothered and frustrated San Antonio during a rugged win over the visiting Spurs. Damon Jones made two 3-pointers and four free throws in the final 1:35 as the Cavs, who have struggled on the road, improved to 14-3 at home and beat the Spurs for the second time this season.


Baron Davis and Matt Barnes scored 29 points apiece, leading the visiting Golden State Warriors to a victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Davis and Barnes each had big shots down the stretch for the Warriors, who won despite shooting just 39.5 percent from the field. A jumper by Davis from the left side made the lead 91-85 with 1:23 remaining, and after a Hornets miss, Barnes took a pass from Davis in the right corner and sank a 3-pointer for a 94-85 lead.


Leandro Barbosa hit a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining and the visiting Phoenix Suns rallied to edge the Chicago Bulls. Ben Gordon gave the Bulls a 96-94 lead when he hit two free throws with 5.2 seconds left, but Phoenix wasn't finished. After a timeout, the Suns' Boris Diaw caught the inbound near the right block and passed to Barbosa at the top of the key for the winning shot.


Dirk Nowitzki had 31 points and a season-high 15 rebounds, Josh Howard added 21 points and nine rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks extended their winning streak to 11 games by beating the visiting Seattle SuperSonics. Nowitzki, back in the lineup after sitting out the previous game due to a sinus infection, had his first 30-point game since scoring 31 in a win over San Antonio on Nov. 24.

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