Clippers
Magic
86 - 91 Final
  for this game

Nelson, Magic hold off Clippers

Jan 3, 2007 - 5:09 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Jameer Nelson kept the Los Angeles Clippers struggling on the road.

Nelson scored a season-high 29 points as the Orlando Magic posted a 91-86 victory over the Clippers.

Dwight Howard had an all-around strong game with 14 points, 14 rebounds and a season-high five assists for the Magic, who snapped a four-game losing streak against the Clippers.

"This is a big win for us," Nelson said. "Regardless of how you want to look at it, they had beaten us the last few times and we wanted to let them know that they are not going to bully us."

Trevor Ariza scored 14 points off the bench and Hedo Turkoglu added 13 for Orlando, which handed Los Angeles a loss in the opener of a six-game road trip.

The Clippers, who are 12-6 at home, fell to a league-worst 2-11 away from the Staples Center.

Los Angeles had a 54-46 lead with 6:24 left in the third quarter on an eight-foot jumper by Elton Brand. However, Orlando went on a 19-9 run that was capped by Nelson's fallaway jumper with 59 seconds remaining in the period, putting the Magic ahead for good at 65-63.

"We came out and did a great job defensively in the third period," Nelson said. "And when we play good defense, it generates offense for us."

Nelson shot 11-of-16 from the field for the Magic, who shot 47 percent (35-of-74) and have won two straight following a four-game losing streak.

"Tonight they didn't step up so I was wide open for layups," Nelson said. "My guys did a good job of getting me open, setting picks and sealing their man when I drove to the basket."

"Jameer had a great night offensively," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "I thought Howard made some great finds out of the double teams to help us offensively. Everybody did a fantastic job defensively and that was the difference in the game."

With the score at 89-86 in the closing seconds of the game, Los Angeles had a chance to tie, but a 3-pointer by Tim Thomas missed the rim completely with 1.7 seconds left. Two free throws by Nelson sealed the game for the Magic.

Reserve Corey Maggette scored 20 points and Thomas added 13 and five assists for the Clippers, who had won six of their last seven vs. the Magic.

"It is a disappointing game," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We were playing pretty well but second-chance points and turnovers killed us. Twenty-five second-chance points and 22 points off turnovers are a killer to absorb."

Brand scored 15 points but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter for Los Angeles, which shot 51 percent (35-of-69).

"We felt like we had this game under control," Brand said. "But when you turn the ball over it is hard to beat any team. It's very upsetting because it seemed like we had this game under control."

"We just tried to stay in Brand's face and force him to shoot some tough shots," Magic center Tony Battie said. "Early, our defense was good but his shots were falling for him. Down the stretch we tried to stay consistent and we were able to force him to miss a couple. It was a collective defensive effort."








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