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Turkoglu, Milicic lead Magic past Trail Blazers

Feb 15, 2007 - 7:48 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- The Orlando Magic weren't bothered by being shorthanded.

Hedo Turkoglu scored a season-high 24 points and Darko Milicic added a career-high 21 to lead the Magic to an easy 103-91 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

With Jameer Nelson, Grant Hill and Tony Battie sidelined, Orlando compensated by shooting the lights out, hitting 53 percent from the floor and making 17-of-18 foul shots.

Dwight Howard came up big as usual for the Magic with 20 points and 16 rebounds and Carlos Arroyo added 15 and seven assists.

"Darko had a career high if I'm not mistaken," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "I thought he did an excellent job on Zach Randolph. I thought his length bothered Randolph, and Dwight was Dwight. He's just playing outstanding basketball."

Howard finished 8-of-12 from the field and is shooting 81 percent (52-of-64) in his last five contests. It is the 10th-best performance of all-time in a five-game stretch since the shot clock was introduced. Wilt Chamberlain holds the first seven and eight of 10.

"When you first come in the league as a young player, that incredible pace, eventually the game just becomes slower to you," Hill said. "That may be what's happening to him, I don't know, But I knew he is slowing his game down, being much more patient in the low post."

After Turkoglu scored nine first-quarter points, Milicic and Arroyo sparked a 13-0 run to give Orlando a 47-35 lead en route to taking a 52-39 advantage at halftime.

"Playing with Dwight, they have to double him every time and a lot of times I get open shots because of him," Milicic said. "People are going to rotate and double him and I ... get some easy shots.

"For me it's a chance to play and it's a different experience. I love it."

Portland never got the lead under double digits thereafter as Orlando extended the advantage to 81-62 at the end of three periods and breezed to its second victory in six games.

Zach Randolph scored 28 points and rookie Brandon Roy added 19 for the Trail Blazers, who shot 40.5 percent (34-of-84) in losing for the fifth time in seven games in February.

"They made a lot of shots and we just ran out of gas," Roy said. "We got beat up pretty good in Miami and guys just didn't bring the same effort tonight for 48 minutes."

Portland coach Nate McMillan said his team's performance was eerily similar to Tuesday's 104-85 loss to the Heat.

"Our last two teams that we have faced are physically big teams that basically just dominated the paint and overpowered us," McMillan said. "In the last two games the teams combined have had 20 blocked shots. With their length we weren't able to get nothing in the paint."

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