Nelson's 12 fourth-quarter points lead Magic past NetsMar 24, 2007 - 4:00 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Jameer Nelson helped boost the Orlando Magic postseason hopes while the New Jersey Nets saw theirs dip.
Nelson scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Magic improved their placement in the playoff race with a 90-82 victory over the Nets.
Grant Hill netted 12 points and All-Star Dwight Howard had 10 and 16 rebounds for Orlando (32-38), which moved into seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.
"Everybody is trying to jockey for position here," Orlando coach Brian Hill said. "I said to the team, this is what a playoff game is like - the intensity level, teams taking away your first, second and third options and you've got to make basketball plays and have guys that make basketball plays."
"I was really proud of the job the guys did in the second half, just kind of trailing the whole way and coming back and getting big stops and making big plays at the end."
The Nets (31-38) fell one-half game behind the Indiana Pacers (31-37) for the eighth and final spot in the conference.
"A tough loss," Nets swingman Vince Carter said. "We let them get points with the clock stopped. They were getting stops and limiting us to one shot."
"We are not discouraged," New Jersey guard Jason Kidd said. "There are 13 games left and we have to try and win as many as we can and come April 19, we will see where we stand."
With the game tied at 73-73, Nelson connected on a floater from the baseline and drained a 19-foot jumper during Orlando's 9-4 run in the fourth quarter.
"He (Nelson) made big shots down the stretch," Brian Hill said. "Carlos (Arroyo) came in, gave him an eight-minute blow and maybe that just gave him a little bit more energy for the final eight minutes of the game, which is what he played. Maybe he just needed that rest to get recharged a little bit."
Carter made two free throws to pull New Jersey within 84-80 at the 1:06 mark. But Nelson responded with a pull-up jumper from 21 feet to rebuild a six-point cushion to keep the Nets at bay.
Orlando's Trevor Ariza player stellar defense on Carter in the fourth period, holding the All-Star to just 1-of-6 from the floor.
"I thought Trevor really made him (Carter) work," Brian Hill said. "Trevor's length can really bother some people and obviously he can move his feet."
Carter had 27 points and seven rebounds and Richard Jefferson scored 19 for New Jersey, which shot just 34 percent (29-of-84) from the field and was outscored, 44-22, in the paint.
"Vince is good every night," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We just look at things from a team standpoint. We lost the game and we are disappointed we lost the game."
NEW JERSEY 82
ORLANDO 90 FINAL
Mar 23 9:39 PM
NEW JERSEY 59
ORLANDO 59 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 23 8:52 PM
NEW JERSEY 41
ORLANDO 37 HALFTIME
Mar 23 8:09 PM
NEW JERSEY 21
ORLANDO 21 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 23 7:36 PM
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