Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/2

Game 1: Saturday, November 2nd
Game 2: Monday, December 23rd
Game 3: Wednesday, March 5th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 16th

Bucks 99

(30-31, 13-17 away)

Magic 111

(32-30, 19-11 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 5, 2003

    Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 25 19 22 3399
    ORL 30 28 31 22111

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee: S. Cassell 15 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast

    Orlando: T. McGrady 48 Pts, 10 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    McGrady scores 48 points for Orlando

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Sometimes, the Orlando Magic's best offense is to hand the ball to Tracy McGrady and back off.

     Tracy McGrady

    McGrady scored 48 points as the Orlando Magic won for the seventh time in eight games by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 111-99 on Wednesday night.

    "You don't say a word, you don't call a play," Orlando coach Doc Rivers said. "You get out of the way and make sure everyone is spaced."

    McGrady shot 17-for-34 from the field and 8-for-13 from the line for his eighth 40-point game of the season.

    "I was rolling. I felt like I could make anything happen on the basketball court," said McGrady, who also had 10 rebounds for his 15th double-double.

    An admiring Gary Payton added: `He was playing like he was on a playground."

    McGrady tried hard for his second 50-point game of the year and third of his career, but his missed a shot and twice turned the ball over in the final 1:37. Earlier in the quarter, Rivers tried to sit his superstar but McGrady waved him off.

    "I was just in one of those moods and I didn't want to come out of the game," said McGrady, who played 43 minutes.

    In the final 2:45 of the third quarter, McGrady scored 13 straight points as Orlando seized a 89-66 lead. He made six of nine shots, including all three 3-point tries, for 16 points in the period.

    Drew Gooden had 26 points, a career high, and 16 rebounds for his sixth double-double in seven games since coming from Memphis in a Feb. 19 trade. Gordan Giricek, also acquired from the Grizzlies, scored 15 points.

    Orlando (32-30) climbed two games over .500 for the first time since Jan. 22 while winning for the fifth straight time on its home court. The Magic also extended their lead over the Bucks for the seventh playoff seed to 1½ games.

    "We have 20 crucial games left, unfortunately, because that's the position we put ourselves in," Rivers said.

    Before the Magic's recent hot streak, they had lost eight of 10.

    For the Bucks, Payton and Michael Redd each scored 16 points. Sam Cassell had 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists despite foul trouble while Tim Thomas also added 15 points.

    Milwaukee has lost five of eight games since acquiring Payton and Desmond Mason from Seattle.

    "Tonight was one of those games that showed us not being together," Bucks coach George Karl said. "Our offense looked sluggish and predictable to everybody."

    Orlando broke ahead by 12 points midway through the second period behind a 23-6 run as the Bucks missed 10 of 12 shots. Darrell Armstrong had all nine of his points in the outburst, and McGrady's 3-pointer put the Magic up 43-31 with 6:46 before intermission.

    Milwaukee closed within four points, but the Magic ended the half with three straight 3-pointers, two by McGrady, and a technical foul shot for a 57-44 lead. Payton was hit with the technical for complaining during a timeout as Orlando closed out its second straight quarter-ending 10-0 run.

    For the quarter, McGrady had 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting, including three 3-pointers.

    After the break, Orlando quickly scored two baskets for a 17-point lead and Karl called timeout. Karl stood away from his players, hands in his pants pockets, for about two minutes before approaching them, and the Bucks could never cut the deficit to less than 12 points from there.

    Game notes
    McGrady topped the 20-point mark for the 32nd consecutive game. ... Magic owner Rich DeVos turned 77 years old Wednesday. ... Karl remains tied with Red Holzman for 14th on the NBA's all-time wins list with 696. ... Gooden was hit with a technical in the third quarter for jawing at Ervin Johnson after a foul. Shawn Kemp also was slapped with a T in the fourth. It was the second straight home game the Magic had been hit with two technicals after going all season with one such game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 99 111
    FGM-FGA 38-88 (.432) 42-93 (.452)
    3PM-3PA 7-19 (.368) 9-24 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 16-22 (.727) 18-26 (.692)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-40 15-57
    Assists 19 14
    Turnovers 15 13
    Steals 7 7
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 7 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 22 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    Sam Cassell Cassell
    Points: 15
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 48
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0