EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Two days after watching 40-year-old
Michael Jordan become the oldest NBA player to score 40 points in a game, the New Jersey Nets got burned by one of the league's young stars -- Tracy McGrady.
McGrady had 46 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in his second
monster game since Orlando traded Mike Miller and the Magic won their third straight with a 113-105 victory over the Nets on
"Michael scoring 43 at 40 years old, that's more impressive,''
McGrady said quickly in rating his performance against the Nets
What McGrady did against the defending Eastern Conference
champions just two days he tallied a career-best 52 points against
Chicago was impressive, too.
"He's a talented guy.'' said fellow All-Star guard Jason Kidd,
who posted his third triple-double of the season and the 49th of
his career in leading the Nets with 26 points, 15 assists and 11
rebounds. "He can do it all.''
McGrady, who leads the NBA in scoring with a 31.4 point average,
hit 16 of 27 shots and got all his teammates involved in posting
the second triple-double of his career.
"I have been feeling it the last two games,'' McGrady said.
"My confidence is just so high. The baskets seems so big, man. I'm
in a zone, and hopefully I can stay in that zone from now until the
end of the season.''
The Magic need a big finish from the 23-year-old to make the
Coupled with Dallas' overtime win over Washington, Orlando has a
one-game lead over the Wizards in the race for Eastern Conference's
final playoff berth.
Gordon Giricek and Drew Gooden, who were acquired in the deal
that sent Miller and Ryan Humphrey to Memphis on Thursday, added 15
points apiece. Pat Garrity added 14, including the first seven in a
17-0 fourth-quarter run that McGrady capped with the final 10.
McGrady is impressed with his new teammates. Giricek can shoot
and take the ball to the basket and Gooden gives the Magic a low
post presence that they have lacked in the past.
"That allows me to sit out there and make things happen, create
for myself and create for my teammates,'' said McGrady, who
coincidentally had his other triple-double (22 points, 11 rebounds,
11 assists) exactly a year ago in a win over Philadelphia.
Kenyon Martin added 27 points before fouling out midway through
the fourth quarter, a period in which New Jersey missed its first
"We're in a state of funk right now,'' said Nets coach Byron
Scott, whose team lost for the fifth time in eight games since the
All-Star break. "Our heads are down. Guys aren't feeling real good
and we have to get that positive energy. There's still a lot of
games left in the season.''
After seeing the Nets draw within a point with a big third
quarter, the Magic won the game in the opening six minutes of the
fourth quarter as Garrity and McGrady combined on a 17-0 run.
Garrity hit two jumpers from the top of the key and McGrady hit
a jumper, two free throws and then two 3-pointers that seemed to
decide the game.
"It was just getting guys who had open shots, hitting shots.
That's all it was,'' Garrity said. "It also was getting stops and
rebounds on the other end. You can't have a run when teams match
bucket for bucket.''
New Jersey didn't get on the board in the quarter until Kidd hit
a 3-pointer with 6 minutes to go.
This was McGrady's seventh 40-plus game this season. ... No
one has ever scored consecutive 50-point games for the Magic. ...
The win was the second for Orlando over New Jersey since the
All-Star break. ... The Nets are 25-4 at home. ... McGrady has led
or tied for the Magic scoring lead in the last 27 games he has
played. ... Orlando shot 51.3 percent from the field.