Mon, Jan 25, 2010 - Page 19 News List

NBA : Magic need overtime to turn back scrappy Bobcats

REUTERS , CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

The Orlando Magic squandered a big lead against Charlotte on Saturday, but scored the first 11 points of overtime to beat the scrappy Bobcats 106-95.

Jameer Nelson collected six of his 21 points in overtime and Rashard Lewis had five to end Charlotte’s franchise-record home win streak at nine games.

“In overtime, that was the best defense we’ve played all year,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters. “It was our defense that helped us win.”

Vince Carter also had 21 points for Orlando and Dwight Howard pulled in 20 rebounds as the Magic narrowed Atlanta’s Southeast division lead to percentage points.

D.J. Augustin scored 22 points, including five three-pointers, to help spark a furious Charlotte rally that forced overtime.

Behind by 12 points with 11 minutes to play, the Bobcats turned to a volley of three-pointers and double-figure scorer Gerald Wallace’s first points to level the score twice.

Stephen Jackson’s layup with a second to go finally forced extra play.

Nelson then took over, scoring the first four points of overtime to secure Orlando their third consecutive win.

“We executed great until overtime, then we had some bad match-ups,” Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. “We could not get stops. We just could not get it done.”

All five Magic starters finished in double figures, including Lewis’ 18 and 10 by Howard.

■CAVALIERS VS THUNDER

AFP, CLEVELAND, Ohio

Daniel Gibson was an unlikely hero for Cleveland on Saturday, draining a three-pointer with 8.7 seconds left to help the Cavaliers to a 100-99 NBA victory over Oklahoma City.

Cavaliers star LeBron James scored 37 points with 12 assists and nine rebounds.

Shaquille O’Neal added a season-high 22 points as the Cavaliers won their fourth straight game.

Gibson’s three-pointer put Cleveland up 98-96. The Thunder’s Kevin Durant had a chance to tie, but his shot with nine-tenths of a second remaining was blocked by James, who then made two free throws.

Durant then hit a shot at the buzzer, but it was too late for Oklahoma City, who lost in the waning seconds for the second straight night.

In other NBA play, it was:

• Heat 115, Kings 84

• 76ers 107, Pacers 97

• Trail Blazers 97, Pistons 93

• Bulls 104, Rockets 97

• Bucks 127, Timberwolves 94

• Jazz 116, Nets 83

• Nuggets 116, Hornets 110, OT

• Suns 112, Warriors 103

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