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