NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at Orlando
(Tuesday, February 15th)
Final Score: Orlando 99, LA Clippers 94
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Grant Hill scored a season-high 39 points and Steve Francis hit a pair of clutch shots down the stretch to lead the Orlando Magic over the Los Angeles Clippers, 99-94, at TD Waterhouse Centre.
Francis ended with 16 points for the Magic, who have won two straight and three of four.
Hill, who will be starting for the Eastern Conference in Sunday's All-Star Game, shot a blistering 12-of-16 from the field and went 15-of-16 from the free throw line to post his largest scoring output as a member of the Magic.
"The main thing is we got the win," said Hill, who last scored that many points on January 8, 2000 when he had 40 with the Pistons.
"I'm trying to get better," he added, "as good as things have been this year, I feel I can get better. It doesn't mean offensively either."
Elton Brand had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost six in a row by a combined total of 20 points. Bobby Simmons added 20 points, as Los Angeles fell to 1-6 on its current NBA-high nine-game road trip.
Orlando held a comfortable lead for most of the fourth quarter until a 9-4 burst by the Clippers cut the deficit to 89-86 with 3:11 remaining.
Hill, however, hit a jumper the next time down the floor for the Magic to increase the lead back to five.
The Clippers weren't done, though, making it a two-point game, 91-89, on two free throws by Simmons with 59 seconds remaining. But on the Magic's ensuing possession, Francis nailed a jumper, and after Brand hit only one of two from the line with 35 seconds left, Francis again hit a jumper to make it a 95-90 game with 13 ticks on the clock to seal the win.
"I got to hand it to hi because I thought we defended him as well as we could defend him," said Los Angeles head coach Mike Dunleavy. "He made some huge shots. He just banged them down."
The Magic took the lead for good in the third quarter. After Simmons hit a jumper to give the Clippers a 64-62 lead with 4:25 gone in the third, Hedo Turkoglu hit a three-pointer to start an 11-5 burst. Hill scored six points during the run, which was capped by a Turkoglu jumper with 2:24 remaining.
Orlando, which led 33-28 after one quarter and 54-53 at the break, went into the fourth with a 76-71 advantage.
Chris Kaman had 14 points and Corey Maggette had 12 points and 10 boards for the Clippers, who have lost 16 of their last 18 on the road.
Orlando won't take the court again until next Tuesday when it hosts Indiana in its first game after the All-Star break.
The Magic have won six of seven at home...Orlando's Kelvin Cato fouled out for the first time this season, leaving the game with eight points...Doug Christie had eight points and six steals for the Magic...Turkoglu had 10 points.
02/15 23:33:08 ET