Turkoglu, Magic hold off NetsFeb 27, 2008 - 5:14 AM By Carl Dispoto PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- After three sluggish quarters, Hedo Turkoglu had enough energy to help the Orlando Magic dominate the fourth.
Turkoglu scored 17 of his 25 points in the final period as the Magic took over down the stretch en route to a 102-92 victory over the New Jersey Nets.
Rashard Lewis also scored 25 points and Dwight Howard had 17 and 10 rebounds for Orlando, which won its 21st road game of the season to match the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in the NBA this season.
Vince Carter had 26 points and Richard Jefferson added 20 but both fouled out in the fourth quarter as New Jersey had its four-game home winning streak snapped.
The game featured 17 lead changes and seven ties in the first three quarters but little action as both teams played erratically. That changed in the fourth quarter as Orlando scored 32 points, led by Turkoglu.
"The pace of the game was very, very slow. It was two teams just walking up and down the court," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "It was one of the slowest-paced basketball games I have ever seen. I don't know if anyone broke into a sprint all night."
After scoring eight points on 4-of-9 shooting in the first three quarters, Turkoglu was 4-of-4 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the line in the final 8 1/2 minutes.
"He had rested so much during the game I thought he had a lot of energy for the end of it," Van Gundy said. "It seems to me he focuses a great deal more when the game is on the line at the end. He gets the opportunities and he comes through when we have put the ball in his hands in those situations."
"It's not that I really wanted to wait until the fourth quarter I was just keeping myself ready and when I get called," Turkoglu said. "When the time comes, I was ready to do my part. I just tried to make the right decisions and take advantage of the situations."
Orlando made just three of its first 15 3-pointers before Turkoglu buried a pair less than two minutes apart in the final period, bringing a loud cheer from a boisterous section of Turkish fans in the upper deck at IZOD Arena.
Turkoglu sank his first 3-pointer from the left wing to forge an 81-81 tie with 5:17 remaining and scored seven straight points - including another shot from long range - in a span of 69 seconds to give Orlando a 90-83 cushion at 2:59.
Lewis was 7-of-10 from the floor and Howard made 5-of-10 shots for the Magic, who shot 52 percent (34-of-55) overall and dominated inside - making up for their erratic 3-point shooting with 48 points in the paint.
"We've got to get to the basket, we can't just rely on our outside shooting," said Howard, who collected his 50th double-double of the season. "We've been doing a good job of doing both but, during the playoffs, in order for us to win, we need to shoot the ball well and also get the ball in the paint."
Josh Boone collected 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who were held to 42 percent shooting and fell to 2-2 since trading Jason Kidd in an eight-player deal with the Dallas Mavericks one week ago.
"They made plays down the stretch, a bunch of guys," Jefferson said. "We could have executed better, but they are a good team. They are a team that has experienced players and they showed it."
Orlando entered the game leading the NBA in 3-pointers but made just 5-of-17 overall while New Jersey stayed close by making 12-of-26 shots from the arc.
"They are making a lot of threes and shooting a high percentage and they have got shooters everywhere," Van Gundy said. "Their game offensively is working a lot better for them right now. They are tough to guard."
NEW JERSEY 92 FINAL
Feb 26 10:02 PM
NEW JERSEY 67 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 26 9:18 PM
NEW JERSEY 43 HALFTIME
Feb 26 8:37 PM
NEW JERSEY 23 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 26 8:08 PM
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