for this game

Nelson big down the stretch as Magic edge Lakers

Jan 17, 2009 - 7:37 AM By John Reger PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Jameer Nelson scored 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and Dwight Howard had 25 and 20 rebounds as the Orlando Magic overcame Kobe Bryant's triple-double to win a wild 109-103 contest over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

Nelson scored 10 of his team's final 13 points to help Orlando sweep the season series with Los Angeles for the first time in franchise history. The win extended the Magic's winning streak to six games and improved on their NBA-best 15-5 road record.

"This was a big-time win," Nelson said. "The atmosphere was unbelievable, and they have a great team. They do a good job of putting the pressure on you at home."

Bryant had 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his 15th career triple-double, but the Lakers' superstar only shot 3-of-12 from the field in the fourth quarter and missed his last six shots.

In a contest that saw 19 lead changes - 15 in the fourth quarter alone - Nelson had the biggest basket down the stretch, connecting on a 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Magic a 104-103 lead with 35 seconds to play. Pau Gasol had given the Lakers a 103-101 lead on a layup with 54 seconds remaining.

"Every time we missed a shot I was like, 'Oh no,'" Howard said. "I thought the Lakers were going to break it open, but we just kept going and Jameer was huge for us. We needed him to hit big shots and he did that for us."

Bryant missed a jumper and, after Nelson made two free throws to extend the lead to three, had a 3-pointer rattle out with eight seconds to play. Nelson made two more free throws to seal the win.

"I had a great look, a great, great look," Bryant said. "It just didn't want to stay down for me."

Rashard Lewis added 16 points for the Magic, who went 12-of-28 from the arc one game after setting the NBA record with 23 made 3-pointers against the Sacramento Kings.

"They made some big shots," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "(Hedo) Turkoglu hit a big shot, Nelson hit a big three and they kind of gave them the balance and the energy there."

Jackson said before the game he was not going to get his team into a 3-point shooting contest with the Magic. Los Angeles had four more 3-point attempts in the first quarter than Orlando.

It was Andrew Bynum, though, that set the tone in the first 12 minutes for the Lakers, scoring 10 early points to help Los Angeles take a 23-20 lead after one quarter.

The Lakers pushed the lead up to 52-44 at the break, but Orlando went on a 14-6 run to tie the game. The Magic took their first lead of the game on a layup by Turkoglu, 60-58, with 7:07 left in the third.

The Magic stretched the lead to as many as nine in the quarter, but the Lakers went on a run of their own, outscoring Orlando, 14-4, over the last four minutes of the third. Gasol's tip-in at the buzzer gave the Lakers a 75-74 lead heading into the fourth.

"We had some dumb plays, bad passes, didn't rebound real well, but we made some huge plays," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Jameer had some unbelievable shots. He was fantastic. People are starting to give him that recognition as a good player."

Lamar Odom had 17 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Lakers. Bynum finished with 14 points and Gasol scored 13.