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Monday, March 15, 2010
Magic blast Wizards
WASHINGTON (AP) After the game, J.J. Redick was dishing out geography trivia and talking about Duke's run in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Too bad his conversational versatility doesn't also include hockey — because it was a stat usually associated with the sport on ice that stood out in the Orlando Magic's eighth straight win.
Redick led the Magic in plus-minus, his team outscoring the opponent by 21 points while he was on the floor, part of another solid bench effort in Orlando's 109-95 victory Saturday over the worn-down, back-to-back-to-back Washington Wizards.
Dwight Howard had 28 points and 15 rebounds, but it was Redick (18 points), Brandon Bass (16 points, nine rebounds), Mickael Pietrus and Jason Williams who led the rally when the Magic found themselves trailing by 15 in the second quarter.
Redick said the second group has been focused anew since a 95-85 loss to Dallas on Feb. 19.
"We were all horrible that night, and after that game we kind of all got together and said 'We've got to be better,' " Redick said. "Even during the first quarter tonight, MP looked at me and said something to everybody, that we needed to pick things up for the starters."
Since the Dallas game, the Magic have won 10 of 11, and the eight-game run is the franchise's longest winning streak since April 2006. Against the Wizards, Redick scored 10 points in a 24-6 spurt that gave Orlando the lead for good, and the Magic shot 74 percent from the field in the second quarter.
"That's what got us going," Howard said. "Guys came in and played defense and we hit shots and were able to run and be effective in transition, and that's the way we got back into the game and ended up winning the game."
Knicks 128, Mavericks 94
In Dallas, Bill Walker scored a career-high 23 points, Wilson Chandler added 22 and the Knicks snapped the Mavericks' 13-game winning streak and avenged a 50-point loss to Dallas earlier this season.
Rookie Toney Douglas had 21 points, Al Harrington added 20 points, and David Lee contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks, who'd lost 14 of their previous 17 and nine straight in Dallas.
Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Jason Kidd added 15 points for Dallas, which hadn't lost since Feb. 16.
The Knicks shot 56 percent from the field (50 for 89) and 16 of 30 from 3-point range.
Spurs 118, Clippers 88
In San Antonio, George Hill had 14 points and a career-high 11 assists to help the Spurs beat the Clippers for the 16th straight time.
Matt Bonner scored 21 points on 8-for-9 shooting to lead the Spurs, who have the longest winning streak by one team against another. Richard Jefferson added 18 points and nine rebounds.
The Spurs (39-25), winners of three straight and six of seven, moved into sixth place in the Western Conference by .003 over the idle Phoenix Suns (40-26).
Baron Davis scored 18 of his team-high 22 points in the first half for the Clippers, who last defeated the Spurs in March 2006.
Rockets 116, Nets 108
In Houston, Luis Scola had a career-high 44 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help Houston preserve its fading playoff hopes.
Scola hit 20 of 25 shots, many of them open layups, and reached the highest point total by a Rockets player this season. Kevin Martin scored 20, Aaron Brooks added 18 points and seven assists and Houston strung together consecutive victories for the first time since early February.
Courtney Lee scored 24 and Brook Lopez added 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who finished a five-game road trip with four straight losses.
The Rockets began the day in 10th place in the Western Conference, 5 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot.
Nuggets 125, Grizzlies 108
In Memphis, J.R. Smith scored 19 of his 30 points in the second half, rallying Denver past the Grizzlies.
Smith was 11-of-16 from the field, including 7 for 10 on 3-pointers, to help the Nuggets win their sixth straight. Carmelo Anthony finished with 24 points and Chauncey Billups added 22 for Denver.
Hawks 112, Pistons 99
In Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 26 points and the Hawks had their best shooting game of the season but still had to hold off a late comeback.
The Hawks took a 28-point lead in the second quarter but suffered a second-half letdown. Atlanta kept its lead in double figures from the 7:17 mark of the opening quarter until Detroit's Ben Gordon scored with 6:45 remaining to cut the lead to 96-87.
The Hawks answered with an 11-4 run to push the lead back to 16 points.
Jason Maxiell led Detroit with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Warriors 124, Raptors 112
In Oakland, Calif., Stephen Curry had 35 points and 10 assists, Monta Ellis scored 31 in his second game back following a back injury and Golden State beat Toronto, putting another dent in the reeling Raptors' playoff hopes.