McGrady broke the 40-point barrier for the second straight game,
scoring 41 Tuesday night as the Magic held off a Sacramento rally
and beat the injury-riddled Kings 125-121.
"I see something good with this team in the playoffs. I really
think this is the team of the East,'' McGrady said. "Last year, I
was hoping that we were going to be a good team. This year, I truly
believe we're a good team. Having Grant back is really helping our
confidence even more.''
McGrady, coming off a 47-point performance in a road win at
Milwaukee, made 15 of 27 shots and also had eight rebounds and
seven assists for the Magic, who are off to a 4-1 start for the
first time since 1998-99.
Hill, who sat out the second half of Saturday's victory over the
Bucks after feeling pain in his surgically repaired left ankle, had
21 points in 33 minutes while showing no signs of being hampered by
the injury that sidelined him most of the last two seasons.
The six-time All-Star shot 9-of-13 and even surprised some of
his teammates by dunking in a game for the first time since early
"That felt good,'' said Hill, who had three slams. "Each week
I'm doing something new, and that's good. The main thing is that we
won. We're 4-1. It doesn't matter if we won by 20 or by four, we
still got the win.''
Bobby Jackson scored 16 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter,
keying a rally from a 109-91 deficit in the last 8:25. The guard,
starting because Mike Bibby is out with a broken foot, scored seven
straight for the Kings to trim Orlando's lead to 122-121 with just
under a minute to go.
After Pat Garrity made one of two free throws for a two-point
Magic lead, Jackson drove the lane for a tying layup that was waved
off as he was called for an offensive foul for crashing into Mike
"Obviously, you don't make that call at the end of the game,''
Jackson said. "If I'm Tracy McGrady or Grant Hill or any marquee
guy, I'm guaranteed they're not going to call a charge.''
Darrell Armstrong made two free throws to put the game out of
reach with six seconds left.
Chris Webber had 23 points and nine assists for the Kings. Peja
Stojakovic scored 21 and Doug Christie had 21 before fouling out
for Sacramento, which has lost two of the first three games on a
four-game road trip that ends Wednesday night in New York.
The Kings, in the midst of playing four games in five days, only
dressed eight players. Vlade Divac and Scot Pollard sat out with
strained lower backs, Mateen Cleaves was out with a foot strain and
Hedo Turkoglu was not in uniform because of food poisoning.
The goods news for Sacramento was that Webber returned to the
lineup after missing three games because of a lower abdominal
"You can't worry about not having all your players,'' said
Sacramento coach Rick Adelman, who also was unhappy with the
referee's call that went against Jackson in the closing seconds.
"Our guys did a great job of playing. It's just unfortunate
that you lose the game on a call like that. I give our guys a lot
of credit for staying with it and giving themselves a chance to win
it at the end.''
The Magic shot 58 percent in the opening half, but the Kings
managed to stay close by countering with 53 percent shooting of
their own. Orlando led 68-63 at the break and built the lead to
90-78 before Sacramento finished the third quarter with a 10-2
spurt to pull within four going into the fourth quarter.
Sacramento, which hadn't allowed an opponent score 100 in
its first four games, gave up 92 in the first three quarters. ...
Orlando has yet to allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent. ...
Keon Clark filled in for Divac and had six points and one rebound
in 24 minutes. ... The Kings had won five of the previous six
meetings between the teams.
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