Magic
Pacers
100 - 98 Final - OT
  for this game

Lewis, Magic escape against Pacers

Nov 22, 2008 - 5:07 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Dwight Howard posted his usual numbers, but it was an impressive overtime performance by Rashard Lewis that carried the Orlando Magic to their fifth straight win Friday.

Lewis scored seven of his 23 points in the extra session, including the game-winning jumper with 23 seconds left, as the Magic squeaked out a 100-98 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

"It's not a shock to us when he has games like that anymore," said Magic guard Jameer Nelson, who matched a season high with 22 points while dishing out nine assists.

"He's done it so many times in his career so far, we expect numbers like that from him. He's our guy and we expect him to do great things for us."

Lewis had been battling foul trouble for most of the contest but took over in overtime, sinking all three of his shot attempts.

A 3-pointer by Danny Granger, who finished with 21 points on 7-of-20 shooting, gave Indiana the lead, 96-93, but Lewis drained his own shot from behind the arc to pull Orlando even.

Lewis and Marquis Daniels exchanged jumpers before the Magic's 6-10 forward knocked down the game-winner. A late jumper by T.J. Ford was contested by Howard, forcing the shot off the mark and sealing the victory for Orlando.

"He shot the ball well and he just kept playing," Howard said of Lewis. "I'm just trying to make a conscious effort of blocking shots. Knowing that if I block shots and hold down the paint, our team has a great chance of winning."

Howard collected 24 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks.

Indiana, which led for much of regulation, got a pair of quality performances from its guards, with Daniels leading the way with 25 points and Ford adding 22, six rebounds and four assists.

"We must give (Orlando) credit," Ford said. "They stayed in the game, hung around, executed well down the stretch and got the 'W.'"

It was a tight game, with the Pacers holding a slight advantage until late in the fourth quarter. A pair of free throws by Howard with 2:40 left gave Orlando its first lead, 89-88, since it led, 26-25, late in the opening period.

"We're playing with more confidence than we did in the beginning of the season, but we can't get complacent," Howard said. "I think we started off the game kind of complacent, thinking we could just show up and win."

After Granger tied the game with a free throw, Nelson and Ford traded hoops and Howard's block of Indiana center Rasho Nesterovic sent the game to overtime tied at 91-91.

"He's so athletic, he has a great feeling for the blocked shots," Nesterovic said.

Mickael Pietrus was back in the starting lineup for Orlando after missing Tuesday's 103-90 victory over Toronto with bruised ribs. He had 10 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes.






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