McGrady, Magic snap two-game losing streak

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It was payback time, and Tracy McGrady made
sure the Orlando Magic took care of business against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Boosting his league-leading scoring average, McGrady had 35
points Thursday night in a 101-80 victory over the Clippers, who
rallied late to defeat the Magic in Orlando last weekend.

"We were a little upset because we had that game won. It's a
game we let slip away,'' said McGrady, who raised his average to
32.1 points a game.

"And not only to pay them back for last Sunday, but because
this is the first game of a long road trip, so this was the most
important game of the trip.''

McGrady went 14-of-26 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from
3-point range.

He also had two blocks and six rebounds for Orlando, which,
unlike in the earlier 120-117 loss to the Clippers, played solid
defense, turning 19 Los Angeles turnovers into 26 points.

"I'm pleased with the way we played defense and rebounded,''
McGrady said. "That's what killed us in the games we lost. Tonight
we were aggressive on both ends of the floor.''

Teammate Pat Garrity said of McGrady, "When he's hitting shots
like that, with .03 seconds left on the shot clock, that's just
great offense.''

The Clippers' Corey Maggette drew the difficult task of trying
to contain the hot-shooting McGrady.

"McGrady's a great player,'' Maggette said. "I just wanted to
try to slow him down, but Tracy's one of the best players in the

Orlando scored 24 points on 8-of-20 shooting from 3-point range.
The Clippers were just 3-of-13 on 3-pointers and scored only 13
points off 15 turnovers by the Magic.

In the Clippers' earlier win, McGrady had 32 points but just two
in the final quarter as Los Angeles came back from a seven-point
deficit in the final 3:13.

McGrady's performance in the rematch included a spectacular
drive-and-float dunk as the Magic took charge in the third quarter.

Grant Hill had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Garrity added 14
points in reserve for the Magic, who were missing usual sixth man
Mike Miller because of an ankle injury.

Maggette and Michael Olowokandi led Los Angeles with 16 points
each, but Olowokandi had just two in the second half. Elton Brand
had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

After McGrady made an 18-footer, Darrell Armstrong hit a short
jumper shortly afterward as Orlando opened its first double-digit
lead, at 57-47 with 8:18 left in the third quarter.

A minute later, McGrady, sprinting full speed, split the
defense, went airborne near the foul line and slammed the ball into
the hoop -- bringing a loud "AH-H-H'' in unison from the crowd of
17,654 and giving Orlando a 59-49 lead.

The Magic finished a 12-0 run to go ahead 69-49 and led 78-58
heading into the fourth quarter. The Clippers got no closer than 13
the rest of the way.

Miller sprained his left ankle when Toronto's Voshon Lenard
fouled him late in the third quarter of the Magic's 115-109 loss on
Tuesday. Miller remains day-to-day.

Game notes
The game began a six-game West Coast road trip for the
Magic. ... Miller had a similar injury to the same ankle last March
9 and missed 14 games. ... The game was televised by TNT, the first
of four Clippers games that network will cover this season. ESPN
will televise six Clippers games. ... The Clippers paid tribute to
Eric Piatkowski at halftime for playing the most games for the
franchise since it moved to Los Angeles. Thursday's game was
Piatkowski's 562nd. He eclipsed Loy Vaught's previous record of 558
in the Clippers' game at New Jersey on Nov. 8.


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