NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- On the verge of a blowout loss, Tracy McGrady
blocked out any negative thoughts and led a comeback from a
McGrady capped his performance by blocking fellow All-Star Jamal
Mashburn's shot with six seconds left, giving the Orlando Magic a
97-95 come-from-behind victory over the New Orleans Hornets on
"I'm just really proud of the guys because I thought in the
first half it was easy for them to fold the tent and think about
tomorrow," Orlando coach Doc Rivers said. "But they just didn't
do that. They just hung around long enough until T-Mac got hot.
Once he got it going, you could see the whole spirit of the game
The Hornets, who led by as many as 20 points in the second
quarter, matched the third-largest blown lead in franchise history.
The Magic trailed by 18 points at halftime, but McGrady carried
his club in the second half, scoring 25 of his 41 points. In the
third quarter, McGrady scored 16 points -- as many as New Orleans
did -- and the lead was cut to 76-66.
In the fourth, the Magic went on a 10-2 run to start the
quarter, cutting the Hornets' lead to 78-76. The Hornets responded
with a 10-5 run, sparked by a 3-pointer by Mashburn, who finished
with 40 points.
With 1:52 left, Orlando guard Darrell Armstrong was fouled while
making a 3-pointer. The ensuing free throw cut the Hornets' lead to
one, and when Armstrong made a steal on the Hornets' next
possession and fed Gordan Giricek for a layup, Orlando had its
first lead -- 93-92.
Orlando led 97-95 with 17.2 seconds left as the Hornets looked
to tie the game. Point guard Baron Davis, who finished with a
game-high eight assists, fed Mashburn. But McGrady blocked
Mashburn's shot and Courtney Alexander picked up the loose ball in
the corner and misfired a 3-point attempt.
"We had our chances, we had some good looks," said Hornets
forward P.J. Brown, who finished with a game-high 14 rebounds. "We
just didn't make the big one. But we shouldn't have been in that
situation anyway. You're at home up by 18 and 10 games left in the
season, you just don't put yourself in that position."
"I always think it's possible," Rivers said of the comeback.
"In the third quarter we kept it at 10, 12, 10, 12. In our league,
as long as you keep it in that range, you know it's going to go one
way or the other. You make a couple shots and it's an eight-,
six-point game. Then it's a new game. If they make a couple, you go
away. From that point on it was: Who is going to make shots down
The Hornets got off to a good start, taking a 32-17 lead after
the first quarter. Mashburn had 13 points in the first quarter, and
another seven in the second quarter, as the Hornets went to the
locker room with a 60-42 lead.
The Hornets outrebounded the Magic 50-36 but shot just 29.3
percent in the second half.
"Mashburn was the only one who could buy a basket," Hornets
coach Paul Silas said. "You're not going to win very many games if
you're not shooting well."
Hornets guard David Wesley missed his fourth straight game
with a bruised left foot. Magic forward Drew Gooden missed his
fourth straight game with a sprained right big toe. ... The Hornets
have equaled or outrebounded their opponents in 24 of the last 25
games. ... In four games against New Orleans this season, McGrady
has scored 139 points. ... With 10:10 left in the fourth, a
technical foul called on the Hornets' Jamaal Magloire. Armstrong,
an 87 percent foul shooter, missed the free throw.