Fri, Apr 24, 2009 - Page 20 News List

NBA: Magic hold off Sixers to even series

PLAYOFFS The Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Heat both tied their respective series at 1-1, while the Denver Nuggets took a 2-0 lead over the New Orleans Hornets

AP , ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Anthony Johnson, right, of the Orlando Magic drives to the basket against Andre Miller of the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference quarter-finals at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday.

PHOTO: AFP

The Orlando Magic blew another 18-point lead before beating the Philadelphia 76ers 96-87 to even their NBA playoff series at 1-1 on Wednesday.

Rookie Courtney Lee had 24 points, Hedo Turkoglu scored 16, Dwight Howard had 11 points and 10 rebounds but fouled out late, and Rashard Lewis made a pair of big jumpers in the final minutes to help Orlando get their fourth win in five chances against Philadelphia this season.

Andre Miller had 30 points and Andre Iguodala scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half for the Sixers, who closed the gap to five points and almost erased the same deficit they faced in the series opener.

Game 3 is scheduled for today in Philadelphia.


HEAT 108, HAWKS 93

At Atlanta, Dwyane Wade scored 33 points, 13 straight to close the first half before he banked in a 3-pointer with two-and-a-half minutes left to finish off Atlanta in a victory that helped Miami even the series at 1-1 before it headed to south Florida.

After scoring only 19 points to open the best-of-seven series on Sunday in a 90-64 blowout, Wade eclipsed his point total by halftime.

The Hawks should have known this wouldn’t be their night when “Spirit,” an actual hawk that flies down from the rafters during the pre-game introductions, decided to hang around for the start of the game. The game had to be halted for a couple of minutes when the fierce-looking bird landed on the top of the backboard; he finally flew to his handler and was led out of the building.

Mike Bibby led the Hawks with 18 points, but the home team shot only 44 percent from the field and struggled at the foul line, making 19-of-30.

NUGGETS 108, HORNETS 93

At Denver, Chauncey Billups scored 31 points to lead Denver to another blowout of New Orleans.

The best-of-seven series shifts to New Orleans for Game 3 on Saturday night with the Nuggets holding just the third 2-0 edge in their 33-year NBA history.

This is the first time the Nuggets have won the first two games of a playoff series since 1985, when they took care of Utah in five games in the Western Conference semi-finals.

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