Ryan's Place

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Magic Edge Heat 80-77



From Sportsline.com:

Brian Hill had a brief message for his players before they went out to face the Miami Heat on Saturday.

"I told them eight is enough. Let's end it right here," the Orlando Magic coach said of his team's losing streak against Miami. "That's really all I had to say."

The Magic players took it from there, leading wire-to-wire against their in-state rival and sealing their 80-77 victory with tough defense and some clutch free-throw shooting.

Orlando held Miami to a season-low 32 percent shooting and made two defensive stops in the final minute when Miami had the ball trailing 76-74.

DeShawn Stevenson forced Heat guard Dwyane Wade to miss from 20 feet on the first possession and Heat guard Gary Payton stepped out of bounds to turn the ball over with 12 seconds left on the next possession.

Jameer Nelson and Steve Francis combined to go 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 11 seconds to help the Magic push their season-high winning streak to three games.

"We're winning these games because we're able to guard people and make them take tough shots," said Hill, who promised just that when he was rehired as the Magic coach last May. "You have to take pride in your defense and our guys are starting to see the positive results from that."

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