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Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010

Lewis caps off big Magic rally in win over Celtics

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) The play designed for Vince Carter was being shredded. J.J. Redick stood near midcourt, swarmed by defenders, unable to make the pass with the clock about to run out on an improbable comeback.

News photo
Getting vocal: Shawn Marion of the Mavericks goes up for a reverse layup against Phoenix on Thursday. AP PHOTO

Instead, Rashard Lewis caught the ball and surprised everybody.

Lewis made the go-ahead layup with 1.3 seconds remaining, and the Orlando Magic overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 96-94 on Thursday night.

"Turned the corner with my right hand, took it to the basket and was expecting the defense to collapse," he said. "I was surprised when I turned to the basket there was nobody there."

Not one to pass up a 3-point shot, Lewis took the ball after a broken play and sprinted down the baseline past Kevin Garnett for the uncontested layup. Rasheed Wallace missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving the Magic their second victory in three games against the Celtics this season.

Lewis led Orlando with 23 points, and Dwight Howard overcame early foul trouble to finish with 19 points and 10 rebounds, including 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Ray Allen had 20 points, and Wallace added 17 for the Celtics, who took a big lead on potent 3-point shooting but wilted from outside in the final period.

"We deserved it," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought we completely lost our focus. An 11-point lead at halftime, I told them it was a joke. We should've been up by 25 points."

Boston players were just as upset.

"I can't explain that one," Garnett said. "Tough loss. We had them right where we wanted them and let it slip away."

The Magic came back with a lineup that featured centers Howard and Marcin Gortat. The rare pairing paid off for Orlando.

They stifled Boston defensively and hooked up on a nifty alley-oop that Howard finished with a powerful dunk. Gortat even gave Orlando its first lead with a 5-meter jumper off the glass, making it 84-83 with 4:52 remaining.

Suns 112, Mavericks 106

In Phoenix, reserves Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley and Louis Amundson led an unlikely comeback for the Suns with 14 fourth-quarter points.

Dragic finished with 13 points, Amundson had 12 and Dudley eight.

Amare Stoudemire had 22 points before spending the entire fourth quarter on the bench, Steve Nash added 19 points and 11 assists, and Jason Richardson had 17 points to help Phoenix snap a three-game losing streak against the Mavericks.

Raptors 106, Knicks 104

In New York, All-Star Chris Bosh had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and Hedo Turkoglu set season highs with 26 points and 11 rebounds in Toronto's fourth straight victory.

David Lee had 29 points and 18 rebounds for the Knicks.

More trouble for Wiz

WASHINGTON (AP) Ted Leonsis says he offered to buy the Washington Wizards at "one of the highest prices ever paid for an NBA team," an amount that was apparently far short of satisfying the family of late owner Abe Pollin.

The former AOL executive wrote on his Ted's Take blog Thursday that he remains "very confident" he will be the next owner of the Wizards, even though he and the Pollin family are at odds over the process for selling the team.

A person involved in the process said Leonsis and Pollin's family were "several hundred million dollars" apart in initial negotiations earlier this month. The person also said the Pollin family has started marketing the Wizards to other potential buyers, even though the sale process is still in a stage in which Leonsis has an exclusive right to purchase the team.



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