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Thursday, March 3, 2011

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Magic touch: Orlando's Dwight Howard keeps the ball away from New York's Ronny Turiaf during the Magic's 116-110 win on Tuesday. AP PHOTO

Steely Magic dig deep to grind out victory over Knicks

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) One of the biggest criticisms about the Orlando Magic this season has been that they are a finesse team that couldn't win tough, grind-it-out games.

Tuesday night, they showed that there may be more layers to them than people think.

Dwight Howard had 30 points and 16 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson scored 23 of his 26 points in the second half to help the Magic outlast the New York Knicks 116-110.

The Magic trailed 58-47 at halftime, but surged in the second half as they clamped down defensively on a Knicks team that struggled from the field.

The win was the Magic's third straight and fifth in six games. It was also Orlando's second win this season over the Knicks, who host the Magic twice before the end of the month.

"We played hard and we got to the point where we drew the line and we said we're not going to let this one slip away," said Magic reserve Quentin Richardson, who had 10 points. "We knew this was a big game we needed to win."

The Magic reserves outscored their New York counterparts 44-11. Ryan Anderson added 16 points and J.J. Redick 12. It all helped negate big efforts from the Knicks' new trio of Amare Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony.

Stoudemire and Billups led New York with 30 points apiece, followed by Anthony with 25.

New York fell to 2-2 since acquiring Anthony and Billups in a Feb. 22 trade. The Knicks finished 1-1 on the Florida swing, following its win over Miami on Sunday.

"(Howard) just opened the court up for Jameer and Anderson," Anthony said. "A team that shoots that many 3s, they're going to make some. In the second half they knocked them down.

"I don't like to make excuses, but not being together on the defensive end, not practicing, not getting the repetitions . . . I think it gets confusing out there at times. That will come with time."

Mavericks 101, 76ers 93

In Philadelphia, Jason Terry scored 30 points, Jason Kidd had a triple-double, and Dallas won its seventh straight game.

Lakers 90, Timberwolves 79

In Minneapolis, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and the Lakers' towering front line overwhelmed Kevin Love on the boards in a victory over the Timberwolves.

Grizzlies 109, Spurs 93

In Memphis, Darrell Arthur and Zach Randolph each scored 21 points and the Grizzlies took advantage of San Antonio's poor ball handling.

Rockets 103, Trail Blazers 87

In Portland, Kyle Lowry had 21 points and 11 assists, and Houston won its fifth straight.

Pacers 109, Warriors 100

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 27 points, hitting all 16 free throws, and the Pacers held off Golden State.

Raptors 96, Hornets 90

In Toronto, Jose Calderon had 22 points and 16 assists, DeMar DeRozan scored 17 points and the Raptors beat New Orleans for just their fourth win in 24 games.

Bucks 92, Pistons 90

In Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings scored 21 points, making the clinching free throws with 5.9 seconds left and leading the Bucks over Detroit.

The Pistons Richard Hamilton emerged from coach John Kuester's doghouse to score 10 points in 26 minutes off the bench.



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