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Jamison, Butler help Wizards hold off Magic

Mar 20, 2008 - 4:13 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Hedo Turkoglu had many things to celebrate on Wednesday night, but the Washington Wizards made sure the outcome of the game wasn't one of them.

Turkoglu poured in a career-high 39 points on his 29th birthday, but the Orlando Magic fell to the Washington Wizards, 87-86.

Antawn Jamison scored 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Wizards (34-33), who pulled above .500 and remained one-half game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers (34-34) for sixth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Turkoglu squandered a chance to tie the game when he split a pair of free throws with 33 seconds left to play, leaving the Magic behind, 87-86.

After Dwight Howard blocked Caron's Butler's shot on the other end, Turkoglu came out of a timeout with the ball in his hands. Driving down the center of the lane, the Turkish star threw up an off balance layup attempt which skipped off the rim with two seconds to play, sealing Washington's victory.

"I didn't want to settle for a jumper," said Turkoglu, who connected on 11-of-20 from the floor, including 7-of-9 from the arc. "So, I was going to go strong, but the angle really wasn't what I wanted."

"C.B (Caron Butler) tried to press him (Turkoglu) and take away the three," said Wizards center Brendan Haywood, who scored 10 points and grabbed 11 boards in addition to doing an excellent job defensively against Magic center Dwight Howard.

"I tried to step up but Turkoglu is so long he somehow stepped around me but he had a bad angle at the basket. His shot kind of ricocheted off."

All-Star Caron Butler turned in another quality performance, adding 11 points and nine rebounds, and DeShawn Stevenson chipped in 14 points while limiting Turkoglu to just four free throws in the final seven minutes.

Trailing, 43-36, at the half, the Wizards caught fire in the third quarter, opening with a 21-9 run to take a 57-52 lead on Jamison's jumper with 5:20 left in the frame. Jamison and Stevenson combined for 15 points during the spurt.

"Coach (Eddie Jordan) really ripped into us at halftime," said Jamison, who connected on 12-of-21 shots from the field and added four steals. "So, we wanted to come out in the second half and have a better showing. We didn't waste anytime at all getting started in the third."

A back-and-forth final quarter saw Orlando pull even at 78-78 on Turkoglu's free throw with 3:57 remaining, but Washington answered with a 7-1 run to take the lead for good.

Howard battled foul trouble most of the night and finished with just three points on 1-of-6 shooting, but still managed to pull down 14 boards for the Magic, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

"We have Brendan, who can match (Howard) eye-to-eye, which is pretty rare in this league," Jordan said when asked how they planned to stop Howard. "You can't stop him, but he makes it tough for him. Brendan did a great job in the paint for us."

"We wanted to make it tough for him (Howard)," Jamison said. "Our bigs really took the challenge to make it difficult for him. Not to let him get bouncing around and dunking and 'Superman' and all that stuff.

"We wanted to prevent as many points in the paint as possible and make them beat us from the outside."

Washington outscored Orlando, 36-14, in the paint and held Orlando to just 34 percent (26-of-77) shooting from the field.

"Other than Turkoglu and (Keith) Bogans it was a miserable, miserable offensive night," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We had trouble getting good shots and we got them we couldn't make them.

"If you take Keith and Turkoglu out, we were 10-of-47. It was a very, very bad night."

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    Wizards 76, Magic 75  4th - 5:53Mar 19 9:07 PM

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