Nets
Magic
102 - 105 Final
  for this game

Howard, Magic escape with win over Nets

Mar 7, 2009 - 4:57 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Dwight Howard had 26 points and 15 rebounds as the Orlando Magic won their third straight game, a 105-102 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday.

Rashard Lewis scored 21 points for the Magic, who have scored 100 points or more in their last four games.

The Magic outscored the Nets, 22-16, in the fourth quarter to engineer yet another comeback in the final period.

"I said this other day to the guys, the problem is that now we have three straight games where we have trailed going into the fourth and won," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.

"It's great to know you can do that, but we're not playing with enough of a sense of urgency. I think it's sending the wrong message right now to our team. We need to bounce back to reality a little bit and understand that we need to get off to better starts early in the game."

Vince Carter had a chance to tie the game for New Jersey - which blew a 12-point lead late in the fourth - but his desperation 3-pointer was errant. Carter was hounded by Hedo Turkoglu and forced to double-pump before launching his shot from the arc.

"There's not much you can say," Carter said. "We missed a lot of shots late. When it came to performing at the end of the game, they got it done and we didn't."

Devin Harris scored 25 points for the Nets, who lost back-to-back games against Eastern powers. The Nets were dispatched, 115-111, by the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

After New Jersey lost its late lead, Carter tied the game at 100-100 on a jumper with 3:41 left, but Turkoglu responded with consecutive buckets to force a 20-second timeout from the Nets.

"It's a proven fact they can come back like that," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said. "They did it their last two games. I thought we put forth a good effort, but they stepped up their game, and we just couldn't hold the lead."

The Magic, holding a four-point lead, could not put the game away from the line, as Alston hit just 1-of-2 with four ticks left after Harris made two. The sequence allowed for Carter's last-ditch heave.

Turkoglu had 13 points and eight rebounds and Alston collected 11 and six assists for Orlando, which will play at Boston and Detroit on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

Carter scored 19 points for the Nets, who will play the New York Knicks on Sunday - a critical matchup in the battle for the eighth playoff spot in the East.

"We shot great for three quarters, but you can't go cold like that in the fourth quarter," Harris said. "Especially against a team like that, you miss a couple of shots and the next thing you know they score eight or nine points in a row."