Nelson hits three at buzzer as Magic beat NuggetsMar 19, 2011 - 5:04 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Jameer Nelson drilled a three-pointer from the top of the arc at the buzzer, lifting the Orlando Magic to an 85-82 win over the Denver Nuggets.
After Denver's Danilo Gallinari tied the game with two free throws, Orlando set up an inbounds play into a halfcourt set with 5.7 seconds on the clock. Nelson got the ball, guarded by Ty Lawson, then took a step toward the basket before rising for the game-winning shot.
Nelson finished with 13 points, none bigger than the final three, which handed the Magic their second consecutive win. Dwight Howard had 16 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks.
"I thought both teams played very hard and our guys had a terrific defensive effort tonight," said Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy. "Dwight blocked shots and we did a great job taking away three's from them. Terrific effort out there today."
Wilson Chandler scored 20 points for the Nuggets, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Gallinari ended with 17.
"It's tough to lose a game like that, on a walk-off three," said Chandler. "There are positives that we can take out of this, we played tough on the road against a playoff team."
Neither team led by more than seven in a close game that featured six lead changes and 10 ties.
Even after Orlando shot 60 percent in the second quarter and held Denver to 29 percent, it held just a 47-42 lead at the break. Following an offensively stagnant third quarter, the Magic carried a 64-60 into the fourth.
Denver had to play catch-up several times in the final quarter to stay close. After Orlando built a seven-point advantage, the Nuggets used a six-point burst to get within 72-71 at the midway point.
Then, with three minutes to play, Hedo Turkoglu's three-pointer gave Orlando an 80-75 edge. But Chandler drilled a three of his own a minute later, and the game boiled down to the final handful of possessions and the final minute.
The Nuggets faced a three-point deficit when Raymond Felton split two Orlando defenders on a drive. While he couldn't get the layup to fall, Nene grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Nelson.
Nene sank both attempts to bring Denver within 81-80 with 41 seconds on the clock. At the other end, Nelson barreled to the basket and dished to Brandon Bass, who drew the foul and made 1-of-2 free throws.
The miss gave the Nuggets an opportunity to tie or move ahead, but Lawson's bad pass ruined the possession. As he drove down the middle of the lane, he intended to send a backward pass to Nene at the high post or Chandler, who was curling toward the top of the arc from the right wing. But Nene tipped the ball, creating the turnover.
Forced to foul, Denver sent Turkoglu to the line with 14.2 seconds to play, and fortunately for the Nuggets, he missed both attempts. Felton jumped to grab the rebound off the second miss, but appeared to suffer a left ankle injury upon landing.
Still, the rebound gave the Nuggets another chance to tie the game, and they put the ball in Gallinari's hands. Gallinari dribbled toward the hoop down the right baseline and put up an awkward shot, which Howard blocked as Turkoglu was whistled for the foul.
Orlando committed 18 turnovers, leading to 20 Denver points...Turkoglu ended with 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists...Nene had 14 points and nine boards...The Nuggets have lost 17 of their last 18 in Orlando.
- DENVER: 82
Mar 18 9:35 PM
- DENVER: 82
End of Regulation
Mar 18 9:34 PM
- DENVER: 60
End of 3rd
Mar 18 8:52 PM
- DENVER: 42
Mar 18 8:09 PM
- DENVER: 21
End of 1st
Mar 18 7:35 PM
- DENVER: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 18 7:12 PM
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