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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Magic stage major rally to beat Heat

MIAMI (AP) Another big lead, another big collapse.

News photo
Big lead blown: Miami's Dwyane Wade puts up a jumper over Orlando's Jason Richardson in the first quarter on Thursday night. The Magic beat the Heat 99-96. AP PHOTO

It's becoming a trend for the Miami Heat — and one the Orlando Magic were more than thrilled to exploit Thursday night.

Down by 24 points in the third quarter, the Magic went on an unbelievable 40-9 run over the next 15 minutes and stunned the Heat 99-96, the second-largest comeback in Orlando franchise history and matching the second-biggest in the NBA this season.

Jason Richardson scored 24 points for the Magic, 11 of them to kick-start the epic burst that turned a 73-49 deficit into an 89-82 lead.

"Well, that defies explanation," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said.

There's only been six instances this season of a team taking a 22-point lead or more and losing. The Heat have been victimized that way twice, both times at home, the first against Utah in the season's earliest stages.

This one seemed to cut much deeper.

"We've blown a lot of games where we were in full control," Heat forward Chris Bosh said. "And we have to do something."

Jameer Nelson scored 12 of his 16 in the second half and Dwight Howard finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Magic, who fell into the 24-point hole when LeBron James scored with 8:57 remaining in the third quarter.

Orlando outscored Miami 50-23 the rest of the way.

"To do it on the road, that was an incredible win," Van Gundy said.

James and Dwyane Wade combined for 47 points in the first half and outscored the Magic by two in the first 24 minutes.

"We need to keep on pushing through," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "There's no other way to say it. . . . The tide turned."

Nuggets 103, Jazz 101

In Salt Lake City, Aaron Afflalo shook off a sore ankle to score 19 points, including a 3-pointer with 11.4 seconds remaining, and Denver held off Utah.

K.J. meets Maloofs

SACRAMENTO , Calif. (AP) Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has met with the owners of the Kings amid uncertainty about the team's future home.

In an e-mailed statement, Johnson said he and the owners "had a candid and productive conversation about our mutual goals and interests."

Johnson said he made it clear that Sacramento wants the team to stay, and he will work to develop a new facility, "with or without the Kings."

Kings owners Joe, Gavin and George Maloof have been silent on any possible relocation, but the Kings have been in talks about moving south to Anaheim.

Johnson spokesman Joaquin McPeek confirmed the mayor also spoke with NBA Commissioner David Stern on Wednesday.

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