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(Friday, March 29th)
Final Score: Orlando 97, Washington 92
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Most of the time, a good way to end a lengthy losing streak is to play a team which you've had success against on your home court.
That's just what Orlando needed and got on Friday, as the team downed Washington, 97-92, ending an eight-game losing skid en route to picking up its seventh straight victory over the Wizards at home.
Tobias Harris scored a career-high 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds and Maurice Harkless added 18 points and grabbed nine boards for the Magic, who picked up a victory for the first time since March 10.
"Sometimes you can play a decoy and that will open the shots up for everyone," said Harris. "I thought that tonight we did a great job of setting our shots up and moving the ball around."
E'Twaun Moore and Andrew Nicholson scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, in the much-needed win.
John Wall led all scorers with 35 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Martell Webster chipped in 19 points for the Wizards, who have lost two straight.
"They did whatever they wanted in the front end," said Wall. "They won that game in the first half because we didn't play any defense at all the whole night."
Trailing by 12 at halftime, Washington opened up the second half looking to dismiss a poor second quarter which had put it in a hole. Wall helped that cause by scoring the first six points of a 18-4 swing which saw the visitors take a 64-62 edge around the midway point of the third.
Harris and Beno Udrih, though, answered with consecutive treys which ignited Orlando and helped it come out of its early second half slump with a 16-7 run to take a 78-71 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Still, the third quarter in general was not one to remember as Washington made 7-of-23 shots compared to Orlando's 7-of-20 effort.
Webster's slam four-plus minutes into the fourth brought Washington within 82-80, but the Magic expanded their edge to eight points after three quick baskets. Harris came up huge with 3:15 to play as he created contact in the lane for a three-point play that made it 91-84.
Wall made two free throws with 45 seconds to play that cut the deficit to three points, and then Washington even had a chance for a tie. After a missed Magic layup, Trevor Ariza had a solid look from behind the arc, but his attempt was short-rimmed and Orlando grabbed the board and eventually hung on for the win.
The contest was tied 31-31 early in the second quarter, but the Magic capitalized on some lackadaisical play from the visitors to take a 53-39 edge after a 22-8 surge with two minutes left before the break. Wall's steal and fastbreak lay-in just before the buzzer sounded stopped the bleeding momentarily for the Wizards, as the team trailed 58-46 at halftime.
Orlando took a 24-23 edge after one quarter of play while Harris led the way supplying 11 points in the stanza.
Despite the victory, Orlando is just 11-27 at home this season, while Washington fell to 7-29 on the road ... The Magic have also won 10 of 11 at home versus the Wizards ... Orlando held a 48-28 advantage on points in the paint ... Udrih supplied 10 points and nine rebounds for the Magic ... Orlando's Jameer Nelson left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.
03/30 00:19:21 ET
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