for this game

Turkoglu, Magic finish strong against shorthanded Heat

Apr 19, 2007 - 4:13 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Hedo Turkoglu and the Orlando Magic worked out some of their kinks for the playoffs.

Turkoglu scored 13 of his 15 points in the third quarter as the Magic closed out the regular season with a 94-68 romp over the shorthanded Miami Heat.

Grant Hill scored 17 points and Dwight Howard added 12 and 14 rebounds for Orlando (40-42), which will make its first postseason appearance since 2003 with a four-game winning streak.

"It's good to win the last few games and gets some momentum," Hill said. "This team is trying to find its way and learn what it's all about. So winning going into the postseason is very important."

"It's a new season," Howard said. "We're going to go out there with the mind-set that we can beat anybody. (We) just have to go out there and have fun and play like we know how to play."

The Magic's seeding was still up in the air at the end of their regular-season finale due to the Washington Wizards, who captured a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers to force Orlando to settle for the eighth spot.

The Magic will face the top-seeded Detroit Pistons, who have not lost a first-round series since 1999-2000. Still, some Orlando players are eyeing a matchup with the Eastern Conference's top team.

"I look forward to playing them (the Pistons)," said Hill, who played his first six seasons in the league with Detroit beginning in 1994-95.

The defending champion Heat were already locked into the fourth spot in the East prior to Wednesday, so coach Pat Riley opted to rest Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O'Neal, Jason Williams and Eddie Jones.

"I was more concerned with the health of the team than anything else. ... So when we locked in the fourth seed that was pretty much it for me," Riley said. "It wasn't about anything else, just to get through. I think we have a group of guys that will get it done and get it together."

Miami, however, did find out its first-round opponent would be the Chicago Bulls, who dropped from second to the fifth seed on Wednesday following a disappointing 106-97 loss New Jersey and the Cleveland Cavaliers' win over Milwaukee.

Despite absorbing the tough loss, the Bulls (49-32) will have the home-court advantage in their matchup with the Heat (44-38) due to their better record.

"Chicago feels that they can beat us in the playoffs. ... Kirk Hinrich came out and said it," Wade said. "They have an opportunity to be at home if we face them, and they feel that is the only reason we won last year because we had home-court advantage. Only thing you can do is throw the ball up and play."

Chicago held a 3-1 mark over Miami in the regular season, winning both home games.

Although the Heat were shorthanded, the Magic held just a 39-37 edge at the half.

That quickly changed as Turkoglu scored all of his third-quarter points during a 23-6 run out of the half, giving Orlando a 62-43 advantage on a 3-pointer by the Turkish player with 3:03 remaining.

"They didn't have a lot of keys guys (playing)," Turkoglu said. "We started sluggishly but we picked it up in the third quarter and closed the deal."

Turkoglu went 4-of-5 from the field, including 2-of-3 from the arc, in the quarter to shake off a poor start where he missed nine of his 10 shots in the first half.

"I was 1-for-10 and had like five or six times I tried to tip in the ball," Turkoglu said. "That's the one that killed me. I never doubted myself and just kept playing hard. Just play through it."

Overall, Miami mustered just 10 points in the third quarter and 31 points after halftime.

"We just didn't get it done in the third quarter," Riley said. "We had a horrible third quarter."

Dorell Wright scored 17 points and Wayne Simien added 10 for Miami, which shot just 38 percent (26-of-89) and was outrebounded, 52-31.

"They outrebounded us by 20 so I think the game sort of speaks for itself," Riley said. "We just have to move on and we are. We're happy to move on."

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