Ryan's Place

Friday, March 31, 2006

Magic Beat Mavs 108-99

From Sportsline.com:

Orlando coach Brian Hill was happy to see the Magic beat one of the NBA's elite teams.

Jameer Nelson scored 27 points and Hedo Turkoglu added 25 to help the Magic beat Dallas 108-99 on Friday night and hand the Mavericks their third straight loss.

"This was a big step for us," Hill said. "I think we're becoming a basketball team rather than a collection of individuals. To me it's very rewarding to see how, at this stage of the season, how hard these guys are playing."

The Mavericks fell another half-game behind San Antonio in the playoff chase to clinch the Southwest Division, putting them 2 1/2 games back with nine left to play. The teams are battling for the West's best record, but since they are both in the same division the second place finisher will get the No. 4 seed when the playoffs start in three weeks. The top three seeds go to division winners.

Dallas has now lost five of last seven games, while Orlando has won seven in a row at home.
"We played a short stretch there in the fourth quarter a little bit," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "But other than that we didn't play well at all again tonight, and that's what concerns me.


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