for this game

Magic hold on for victory over Clippers

Jan 10, 2008 - 7:13 AM By John Reger PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Despite giving the Los Angeles Clippers several opportunities to win the game, the Orlando Magic escaped with a 113-106 victory on Wednesday night.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 28 points to lead the Magic, who handed the Clippers their third consecutive defeat and ninth loss in 10 games.

The Magic built several leads but couldn't seal the win, allowing the Clippers to get back into the game on numerous occasions.

"I don't know if we let them back in, but when we went to our bench we didn't play very well," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "When we had the starters out there, I thought we controlled the game pretty well. When we broke up that unit, I thought we struggled a little bit. They are a good team."

Los Angeles used a 13-2 run with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter to get within one point at 99-98.

However, on the ensuing possession, Rashard Lewis, who finished with 20 points, ended a three-minute drought by hitting his fourth 3-pointer of the game to give the Magic a four-point lead, which they would not relinquish.

Orlando, which has the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, began the game red hot - making 12 of its first 16 shots - sparking an 11-0 run midway through the first quarter.

"We got off to a great start in both halves," Van Gundy said. "I thought the lineup we put out there did a good job, but we were a little uneven when we went to our bench. I thought we closed the game out well."

The Magic built their lead to as many as 18 during the opening session and ended the period shooting 71 percent from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range.

The Clippers began the second quarter with a 9-0 run and got to within two points but couldn't take the lead. They were led by forward Corey Maggette, who scored 16 of his 27 points in the first half.

Los Angeles had another chance to move ahead early in the third quarter. After the Clippers scored the first four points of the half to narrow the Magic's lead to 59-58, Chris Kaman missed a pair of free throws as they blew yet another opportunity to go ahead on the scoreboard.

Kaman struggled for most of the game against All-Star center Dwight Howard and, despite scoring 17 points, the Clippers center was largely ineffective.

"The fourth quarter, he hit some shots, and I should have played some tougher defense on him," Howard said. "I think I did a pretty good job on him. I think the main thing with him is not to let him get angles to the rim."

Kaman had only one rebound through three quarters and picked up his fourth foul at 9:08 of the third and was forced to sit until the fourth quarter.

"I thought Kaman was good," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "He was doing a good job of boxing out. He had eight boards in the fourth quarter even with his foul trouble."

His counterpart showed why he is leading All-Star balloting among Eastern Conference centers. Howard, who leads the NBA in double-doubles, got his 32nd - collecting 17 points and 17 rebounds.

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy received two technical fouls for arguing with the officials at 7:27 of the third quarter and was ejected.

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