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Magic shut down Clippers down stretch for victory

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Orlando Magic solved their big problem
in time to beat the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jameer Nelson scored a season-high 29 points and the Magic
clamped down on the Clippers' big men in the second half of a 91-86
win Tuesday night.

After getting battered by Elton Brand, Tim Thomas and Chris Kaman in the first half, the Magic limited the Clippers' post
players to just eight points and six rebounds in the second half,
giving them ample opportunity to rally from a seven-point
second-half deficit.

"I thought our guys were just spectacular defensively and
rebounding in the second half," Magic coach Brian Hill. "We were
the more physical team in the second half. I thought we contested
every pass and every shot. The shots they did make were tough
shots."

Brand had 15 points and Thomas finished with 13, but each of
them scored only two points in the second half. Kaman had four
points in the final two quarters. They went 4-for-17 from the field
in the second half, after hitting 15 of 19 shots from the field the
first two periods.

"It was a collective defensive effort," said Magic forward
Tony Battie, who shared defensive responsibilities on Brand with
Dwight Howard. "He (Brand) was hitting some tough shots early, but
we tried to stay in his face and were able to force him to miss a
few."

Howard had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic. Trevor Ariza
had 14 points and Hedo Turkoglu finished with 13 points.

"They had beaten us three straight times and I think we wanted
to let them know they couldnt bully us," Nelson said. "We came
out first and foremost to play defense and that generated offense
for us."

The Clippers dropped to 2-11 on the road. Los Angeles committed
11 turnovers in the second half and had only two field goals in the
final 5 minutes of the game.

"In the first half, we had it going, in the second half we
didnt," Thomas said. "Our turnovers were creating easy points for
them. That is what they do best and it got them back in the game."

Turkoglu hit three straight long-range jumpers, including a
3-pointer, to start the Magic on a 13-6 run in the middle of the
fourth quarter. Nelson finished the run with a fastbreak layup that
made it 84-75 with 4:15 left.

Cuttino Mobley made a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left to cut it to
89-86 and Magic rookie J.J. Redick threw away the inbounds pass to
give Los Angeles one last try at tying it. Thomas got open for a
3-pointer, but shot an airball.

Nelson closed out the scoring with a pair of free throws.

"This was a disappointing game," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy
said. "You are playing well, you know what you're doing, then you
get careless with the ball. They just outworked us."

Game notes
Clippers guard Sam Cassell missed his fifth straight game
with a sore heel. ... Ariza is averaging 14.4 points in his last
five games. ... Brand is shooting 64.4 percent (49-for-76) from the
field in his last five games. ... Magic guard Carlos Arroyo is
3-for-17 (17.6 percent) from the field in his last four games. ...
The Clippers, the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA, went
1-for-4 from behind the line. ... Los Angeles is 2-11 on the road
this season.