Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/8

Game 1: Friday, November 8th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 19th

SuperSonics 98

(4-2, 2-2 away)

Magic 105

(5-1, 3-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 8, 2002

    Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 27 20 25 2698
    ORL 20 29 22 34105

    Top Performers

    Sea: G. Payton 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl

    Orl: G. Hill 28 Pts, 5 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 Stl

    Hill's 27 points lead Magic to narrow victory

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- From the beginning, it was obvious that Tracy McGrady wasn't going to score 40 points for a third straight game.

    Mike Miller

    Grant Hill

    But with Grant Hill and Mike Miller playing well, McGrady didn't need to dominate for the Orlando Magic to win.

    Hill had 27 points and nine assists, and Miller scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Magic beat the Seattle SuperSonics 105-98 on Friday night.

    "I struggled,'' said McGrady, who had 23 points, including 11 in the final period, on 8-of-22 shooting. "Grant picked me up, Mike picked me up. We have guys who are capable of stepping up.''

    Hill held the Magic together early, when they fell behind by a dozen points. And it was Miller and McGrady pushing Orlando over the top late, as the Magic clinched the win with a 21-9 run midway through the fourth quarter.

    "If we do that the whole year, it's going to be tough to stop us,'' said Miller, whose back-to-back 3-pointers put Orlando up 87-81 with 5 minutes remaining.

    The Sonics had kept Orlando's explosive offense bottled up for most of the night. But in the fourth quarter, the Magic scored 34 points behind 9-for-12 shooting from the field and 14 foul shots in 15 tries.

    Although McGrady struggled, missing eight of his first 10 shots, he was there down the stretch. He hit a fallaway jumper as the shot clock expired and followed that with a three-point play on a fastbreak layup to give the Magic a 96-88 lead with 2:33 to go.

    "I thought they made big plans and made big shots when they needed to and we didn't,'' Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "We turned the ball over and we didn't make the shots late in the game.''

    Vladimir Radmanovic had 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, and Gary Payton had 21 points and eight assists for Seattle.

    Brent Barry, who came in as the NBA's fifth-most accurate shooter at 60.5 percent, finished with 13 points after being hounded into a 4-for-12 shooting night. He also missed six of eight 3-pointers.

    "I'd like to have a couple of those back, but that's the season,'' said Barry, who had been shooting 63.6 percent from beyond the arc. "You make some, you miss some.''

    Seattle was 6-for-17 on 3s, continuing its woes. In their first loss of the season on Wednesday, the Sonics were 1-for-12.

    "We settled for the 3-ball a little bit too much,'' Barry said. "We probably should've penetrated more and found some more rhythm shots.''

    With McGrady misfiring early and no teammates picking up the slack, Seattle bolted out to a 23-11 lead in the first quarter. Radmanovic's 3-pointer and jumper on successive possessions capped off a run of 13 unanswered points.

    "I thought we did a good job of keeping (McGrady) in front of us and making him take tough shots,'' McMillan said. "I think that's about as good as you can do defending him in the post.''

    But Hill, scoring 10 points in a 3:42 span, rallied the Magic to a 43-38 lead with four minutes remaining before the break.

    From there, neither team could expand its lead to more than four until Miller's 3-pointer with 7:03 left to play put Orlando up 84-79.

    Game notes

    Seattle had won three straight against Orlando ... Before the game, Orlando placed forward-center Horace Grant on the injured list with a sore left knee. Still recovering from offseason surgery, Grant has missed four straight games and could be out until December. ... Forward Olumide Oydeji was activated to replace Grant, but he didn't play. ... Seattle center Jerome James sat out with a sore right foot.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 98 105
    FGM-FGA 40-86 (.465) 39-82 (.476)
    3PM-3PA 6-17 (.353) 4-15 (.267)
    FTM-FTA 12-14 (.857) 23-27 (.852)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-44 11-37
    Assists 23 22
    Turnovers 16 9
    Steals 3 8
    Blocks 1 5
    Fast Break Points 4 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 17 (1/1)

    Top Performers

    Gary Payton Payton
    Points: 21
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Grant Hill Hill
    Points: 28
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0