Magic dent Bucks' playoff hopesApr 6, 2011 - 3:52 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard led a balanced attack with 18 point and 17 rebounds, as the Orlando Magic held on for a 78-72 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at Amway Center.
Jameer Nelson hit a huge shot late in the fourth quarter and finished with 17 points and five steals for Orlando, which had dropped three of four coming into the contest and are locked into the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Hedo Turkoglu ended with 12 points and 10 boards in the victory.
"It was a very frustrating night offensively," Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We were inept most of the night. We didn't shoot well, we didn't handle the ball well, we didn't make free throws. But, I thought our guys played very, very hard. Got a lot of good stops down the stretch to get the win, and that was good."
Drew Gooden had 18 points off the bench for the Bucks, who have dropped four of six. Keyon Dooling netted 10 points in a reserve role.
"We had our chances as poorly as we played. Our defense hung in there and gave us a chance to win and we couldn't take advantage," Bucks head coach Scott Skiles said.
With Milwaukee trailing by four late in the fourth, Gooden made a long baseline jumper and a free throw to make it a one-point game, 70-69, with 3:35 remaining.
Jason Richardson tipped in his own miss with 2:15 to play, but Gooden's three-point play on the Bucks' next possession tied it at 72-72.
Orlando went ahead after Howard won a jump ball and batted it back to Nelson, who hit a jumper with 1:41 on the clock. Turkoglu hit a long two a short time later to give the hosts a 76-72 lead, and the Magic held on from there.
Orlando scored the first 14 points of the game and had a 26-14 lead after the opening 12 minutes and were up 42-33 heading into the half.
Milwaukee kept the game close in the third and drew within two after Gooden was fouled beyond the arc and made 2-of-3 at the stripe to make it a 57-55 game at the end of three quarters.
Brandon Jennings's layup finished off a 6-0 run to pull the Bucks even at 61-61 2 1/2 minutes into the fourth, and it stayed close the rest of the way.
The Magic won three of the four meetings with Milwaukee this season and 16 of the last 21 contests in the series...Orlando improved to 28-11 at home this season, while Milwaukee fell to 11-27 on the road.
- MILWAUKEE: 72
Apr 5 9:26 PM
- MILWAUKEE: 55
End of 3rd
Apr 5 8:51 PM
- MILWAUKEE: 33
Apr 5 8:10 PM
- MILWAUKEE: 14
End of 1st
Apr 5 7:36 PM
- MILWAUKEE: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Apr 5 7:12 PM
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