Turkoglu, Magic sweep season series from BlazersJan 20, 2008 - 5:12 AM By Jim Rickenbacker PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) - On his weekly radio show this past Thursday, Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy called the Portland Trail Blazers the best team in the league over the past six weeks.
Perhaps Hedo Turkoglu and the Magic got tired of hearing all the hype as they came away with a 101-94 victory over the Trail Blazers on Saturday night, Orlando's most notable homecourt win since beating Boston back in mid-November.
Turkoglu poured in 20 points and Dwight Howard notched his 37th double-double with 10 and 14 rebounds in helping Orlando capture its fourth consecutive win over Portland, which had won six of its last eight games entering Saturday's play.
"I'll just say, first of all, that is a heck of a team we beat," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I thought by far it was the hardest defensive effort we've made in a long time.
"And Hedo played well in getting us the lead. Still, the main thing is that we fought defensively."
Although Turkoglu had encountered shooting problems the past few games, he once again became the main focus down the stretch, scoring nine points in the fourth along with teammate Rashard Lewis.
"My teammates still have confidence in me," said Turkoglu, whose been battling a virus the last 10 days. "People have bad games, but they still trust me. And I like to be the go-to guy at the end of the game because it makes you better as a player."
Orlando opened things up in the second quarter as Keith Bogans' 3-pointer with 8:17 remaining capped a commanding 13-0 surge to begin the period and make it 39-18.
The Magic were able to carry a 50-42 advantage into the locker room as Portland rallied behind Travis Outlaw and James Jones, who combined for 14 of Portland's 16 second-period bench points.
After falling behind 58-45, Portland battled back to close within 66-62 when Brandon Roy found a wide-open Martell Webster, who hit a shot from the arc with 1:54 to go in the third. Webster accounted for 11 of his 12 points in the period.
The Magic received a boost from reserves Maurice Evans and Brian Cook as the duo combined for 23 points.
"Maurice and Brian stepped up big for us," Lewis said. "Maurice was all over the place, rebounding, making long shots and layups. Those guys are the energy guys, coming off the bench in a big way to help the starters."
Orlando regained control for good as Turkoglu had his hand in seven straight points to start the fourth, including a 12-foot jumper to create a 78-66 edge at the 8:51 mark.
Portland seemed flat the entire game mostly due to its tough come-from-behind victory over the lowly Miami Heat on Friday down in South Beach.
"We had 90 attempts at the basket and we didn't shoot the ball well," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "We just got off to a slow start. Heavy legs, with the amount of games we've played, is a possibility."
Roy poured in 25 points and Travis added 22 off the bench for the Blazers, who fell to 2-3 on their season-long seven-game road swing.
"I think playing five games in such a short time and playing a pretty good team tonight really hurt us," Roy said. "They got a nice lead there and did a good job of holding it."
ORLANDO 101 FINAL
Jan 19 9:29 PM
ORLANDO 71 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 19 8:43 PM
ORLANDO 50 HALFTIME
Jan 19 8:04 PM
ORLANDO 26 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 19 7:35 PM
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