New Jersey at Orlando

Magic take down Nets in battle for playoff spots

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- The New Jersey Nets came apart in the fourth quarter Friday night, right when the Orlando Magic started taking care of the ball.

The Magic overcame 17 turnovers by dominating inside to beat the Nets 90-82, edging up a spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings and knocking New Jersey down a couple.

Jameer Nelson scored 22 points, 12 in the fourth quarter, and Dwight Howard had 10 points and 16 rebounds. Orlando outscored the Nets 44-22 in the paint and had a 54-37 rebounding edge.

"It was a playoff atmosphere," said Magic forward Grant Hill, who scored 12. "I think New Jersey made it difficult -- they really swarmed Dwight, tried to take away things we normally want to do."

Vince Carter had 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Nets, who shot 34.5 percent for the game and 11-for-41 in the second half. Orlando hit 42.3 percent overall.

"We are not discouraged," said Jason Kidd, who had eight points, nine assists and eight rebounds. "There are 13 games left and we have to try and win as many as we can, and come April 19 we will see where we stand."

The Nets came into the game seventh in the playoff hunt, one place ahead of the Magic. Orlando's win made put them in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, while the Indiana Pacers' victory Friday over the Miami Heat put them in eighth.

Both the Magic and Nets have struggled in March: Orlando is 4-7, New Jersey 3-8.

Richard Jefferson scored 19 points for New Jersey and Mikki Moore added 12.

Leading 41-37 at halftime, the Nets grabbed a nine-point advantage early in the third quarter on six straight points from Carter.

New Jersey, however, couldn't pull away. Orlando turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions trying to dump it inside, but the Nets managed only Moore's fast-break dunk. Carter missed a dunk the next trip and was called for a rare offensive basket interference on his own shot for grabbing the rim.

Carlos Arroyo scored five points in the first 90 seconds of the third quarter to help the Magic tie it at 59 at the start of the fourth.

"I think he deserves a game ball for coming in and changing the game," Nelson said of Arroyo.

Orlando took the lead for good on Nelson's layup with 5:45 left in the fourth, with the Nets unable to hit from the field. Orlando had just one fourth-quarter turnover, while New Jersey had four of its 10 on the game in that period.

Carter was 1-for-6 from the field in the last quarter but hit four free throws.

"We took rhythm shots when guys were open but we just missed them," Carter said. "When you are trying to win you have to convert."

Though the Nets' top three big men entered the fourth quarter with four fouls, Howard didn't play in the period until nearly five minutes in. Orlando scored almost all its fourth-quarter field goals inside, but Howard had none of them.

Notes

  • Hill hit Carter in the face starting to dribble the ball down the court with about 3:30 left. Carter stayed on the floor several seconds and came up holding his nose but did not leave the game. Kidd missed the technical shot.
  • The Nets didn't attempt a free throw until early in the third quarter. Orlando was 5-for-8 from the line by that point.
  • Orlando tied the season series at 2-2.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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There's a Darko sighting as Milicic puts up seven points and five rebounds in 17 minutes.  (AP)
There's a Darko sighting as Milicic puts up seven points and five rebounds in 17 minutes. (AP)

Scoreboard
New Jersey (31-38) 2120182382
Orlando (32-38) «2116223190
NJ:V. Carter 27 Pts
NJ:J. Kidd 8 Reb
NJ:J. Kidd 9 Ast
ORL:J. Nelson 22 Pts
ORL:D. Howard 16 Reb
ORL:G. Hill 3 Ast
Players of the Game
OrlandoNew Jersey

J. Nelson

V. Carter
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
22632775
New Jersey
R. Jefferson, SF408-150-244219
V. Carter, SG399-227-875227
J. Kidd, PG383-101-28928
M. Moore, PF325-162-250412
J. Collins, C260-11-24051
E. House, PG182-80-03016
B. Nachbar, SF170-20-02240
M. Williams, PG100-50-02000
C. Robinson, PF90-21-21121
J. Boone, PF71-24-71036
A. Wright, SF31-10-00012
N. Krstic, CDid Not Play
B. Robinson, SGDid Not Play
M. Ilic, CDid Not Play
H. Adams, SFDid Not Play
Totals 29-8416-2537212682
 34.5%64.0% 
Orlando
H. Turkoglu, SF423-134-471211
D. Howard, C383-64-8162410
G. Hill, SG356-120-043212
J. Nelson, PG328-195-563322
T. Battie, PF213-50-05126
T. Ariza, SF283-81-27247
D. Milicic, PF173-51-35027
K. Dooling, PG131-54-41016
C. Arroyo, PG83-43-42139
J. Redick, SG50-10-01000
B. Outlaw, PFDid Not Play
P. Garrity, PFDid Not Play
K. Bogans, SGDid Not Play
T. Diener, PGDid Not Play
J. Augustine, PFDid Not Play
Totals 33-7822-3054132390
 42.3%73.3% 
Other Games
Mia 70 Final
Ind 95
Char 97 Final
Phi 106
Den 94 Final
Tor 121
Port 102 Final
Atl 100
Dal 109 Final
Bos 95
NY 68 Final
Cle 90
LAL 111 Final
NO 105
Det 89 Final
SA 90
Wash 128 Final
GS 135
Utah 72 Final
LAC 104
Min 82 Final
Sea 85