NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at Orlando
(Tuesday, March 3rd)
Final Score: Orlando 111, Phoenix 99
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Rashard Lewis scored 29 points -- 11 in the fourth quarter -- helping the Orlando Magic pull away from the Phoenix Suns in a 111-99 victory.
Lewis also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, while Hedo Turkoglu added 22 points and six assists for the Magic, who have won three of four. Rafer Alston logged 15 points, six helpers and six boards for Orlando, which outscored the Suns, 33-18, in the final frame.
"We're a scoring team. We can't have 18 in the fourth," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. "We didn't impose our will on them as far as the pace of the game and the tempo that we wanted to play, and really it was to their advantage."
The head-to-head battle in the trenches between Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal yielded little results as the Magic center battled foul trouble all game. Howard still ended with 21 points and eight boards in just under 30 minutes of playing time for the victors.
O'Neal had 19 points and 11 boards for the Suns, who were led by Jason Richardson's 27 points. Steve Nash (ankle) returned from a three-game absence and posted 20 points, eight assists and seven boards in 41 minutes of work for Phoenix, which was coming off a promising win over the Lakers on Sunday.
Down by three early in the fourth, Turkoglu and Lewis bombed away from three- point land on back-to-back touches to give the Magic a 94-91 lead with 6 1/2 minutes remaining.
The teams traded two free throws apiece and a pair of Howard makes at the stripe increased the margin to 98-93 with 3:38 showing.
Another Lewis three-pointer from the right wing with less than three minutes remaining made it an eight-point game. The Suns went six minutes without hitting a field goal, and Courtney Lee's putback capped an 8-0 Orlando run that yielded a 103-93 edge with two minutes left that all but sealed the game.
A late-quarter run by the Suns had the visitors ahead 29-24 after 12 minutes, though the Magic ended the half on a 12-4 spurt to knot the contest at 56.
Howard committed three fouls in the first half and was a non-factor. In the third quarter, however, the big man logged eight points, which included an emphatic two-hand slam after spinning away from O'Neal.
"My thing was to come out in the second half and be aggressive," Howard said. "I was a little frustrated the way some of the game went tonight. I just tried to keep my head (and) make sure my teammates saw that I didn't give up."
Nevertheless, the Magic committed four consecutive turnovers at the tail end of the frame and were down, 81-78, with one quarter to play.
The Suns, who had won six of their previous eight games, will also visit the Heat, Rockets and Spurs on their pivotal four-game road swing...Orlando snapped a six-game skid to the Suns...Leandro Barbosa logged 14 points for Phoenix, which received 11 combined points from Grant Hill and Matt Barnes...The Magic outscored the Suns on the foul line, 30-12.
03/03 23:54:10 ET