Ryan's Place

Monday, December 26, 2005

Magic Beat Bucks 108-93



From Sportsline.com:

The Orlando Magic are showing signs of coming together, just as coach Brian Hill hoped.

Steve Francis scored 21 points and Dwight Howard returned from a sprained right ankle injury to finish with 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Magic had their highest scoring game of the season in a 108-93 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.

"We've had our ups and downs," Hill said. "We haven't become yet the team that we're capable of becoming. Tonight to me is an indicator that we're able to be a good team, we just have to do certain things on a consistent basis."

Grant Hill added 20 points for Orlando, which beat Milwaukee for the second time in seven games. The Bucks had won two straight overall and nine of their last 12.

Milwaukee star Michael Redd missed his first six shots and went 4-for-16 from the field. He was averaging 25 points but finished with 17. The rest of the Bucks weren't shooting much better, hitting just 44 percent compared to 54 percent for the Magic.

"I missed a lot of easy shots," Redd said. "No disrespect to their defense. I knew it would be geared toward me, but I missed a lot of shots I would normally make."

Hill credited DeShawn Stevenson for helping shut down Redd.

"He takes the challenge of playing the other team's best player," Hill said. "Not a lot of players want that challenge, but I think he kind of relishes it."

T.J. Ford had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Jamaal Magloire added 14 points and nine rebounds for Milwaukee.

"They did a good job of not letting us get back into the game," Ford said. "They kept making plays and kept attacking us."

Hedo Turkoglu scored 14 points and Stevenson added 12 points and four assists for Orlando.

Francis scored nine of his 21 in the third period, including an impressive follow shot after Howard missed a layup, to help keep the Bucks from getting close.

Hill continued to look more comfortable driving to the basket and pulling up for shots, connecting on several 15-footers from the baseline.

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