ORLANDO, Fla, April 30 (Ticker) -- Tracy McGrady
had a lot to say
before Game Four, but Baron Davis
let his play do the talking.
Davis had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his second
consecutive triple-double as the Charlotte Hornets
advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 102-85
victory over McGrady and the Orlando Magic.
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E.piphany of the Day:
In a radio interview before Game Four, McGrady said he clearly
was the best player in thus first-round series with Charlotte
and had to carry his team more than Davis. He also guaranteed
the series would return to the Charlotte Coliseum for a decisive
"It was a must-win situation for us, I wasn't ready for a
vacation and my team wasn't," McGrady said. "I had to guarantee
With triple-doubles in consecutive games, Baron Davis earned Tracy McGrady's respect.|
"When people trash talk, it can motivate both teams," Davis
said. "We took it as motivation to say let us come out here and
this before it goes back to Charlotte. Everybody on our team
read his comments and what was said. It fueled us in the
mind-set we were going to take it to them."
Both players were battling back injuries, but while McGrady
remained inconsistent, Davis was the most unstoppable player on
the court for the second straight game.
"I don't want to get into all that, even after we won," Davis
said of McGrady's guarantee. "Tracy McGrady dominated even with
the bad back. What I wanted to do was lead my team and not get
into who was the best player in the series. I'm just a young,
up-and-coming guy trying to get my (publicity) here and there."
Davis stepped up in the absence of Charlotte's leading scorer,
, who missed the final three games of the series
due to anemia and B-12 deficiency.
After struggling in Game Two due to back spasms, Davis consulted
a specialist and collected 61 points, 25 rebounds and 20
assists as the Hornets won the final two contests and advanced
to the second round for the third time in four years.
"I don't think many people gave us a shot when Mash wasn't
playing," Charlotte guard David Wesley
said. "I felt like we
might have been written off when they won a game on our floor.
But we definitely got it back in the third and fourth games."
Visibly in pain from his own back troubles, McGrady scored 35
points on 12-of-22 shooting but got little help.
"The fact that he had to come off the floor was deflating to our
team," Magic coach Doc Rivers said. "When he was off the
floor, we were struggling for points and couldn't find any. I
tried to find the right combinations. It was a desperate search
for me. I tried big, small, traps, zones, nothing worked
The Hornets never trailed after the first quarter and had a
71-60 cushion with 1:49 left in the third. But McGrady
completed a three-point play and buried a 3-pointer to bring the
Magic within 71-66.
Charlotte took a 75-69 edge into the final quarter and McGrady
was called for a technical foul for a defensive three-second
violation just 52 seconds into the period.
Wesley buried the free throw and Jamaal Magloire
missed 3-pointer by McGrady with a dunk for a 78-69 cushion at
10:12. Magloire sank 1-of-2 free throws 38 seconds later and
made a layup to give the Hornets an 81-69 cushion with 8:52 to
The Magic had a chance to rally when Magloire was ejected after
committing a flagrant foul on McGrady with 5 1/2 minutes left.
McGrady sank 1-of-2 free throws and Troy Hudson
made a layup to
bring the Magic within 87-78, but the Hornets responded with a
had a fast-break layup, Stacey Augmon
three-point play and, after McGrady made 1-of-2 from the line,
Davis capped the burst and sealed the game with a pair of free
throws to make it 94-79 with 4:23 left.
Magloire scored a playoff career-high 19 points and Wesley added
18 for the Hornets, who will face the winner of the first-round
series between the New Jersey Nets and Indiana Pacers.
Augmon scored 13 points and Elden Campbell
had 10 and seven
rebounds. Brown collected nine and eight and George Lynch
grabbed 10 boards as the Hornets amassed a 51-42 rebounding
"We are a physical team, we are a big team," Hornets coach Paul
Silas said. "We want to play as physical as we can and dominate
the boards. We try to use the gifts that we are given."
McGrady was the only player to make better than half his shots
for Orlando, which shot just 39 percent (31-of-80) from the
floor and made only 4-of-21 3-pointers.
scored 11 points and Patrick Ewing
had 11 and
10 rebounds off the bench in what may have been the final game
of his career.
The Magic have been eliminated in the first round in each of
their last four playoff appearances.
"I never thought we'd lose two," Armstrong said. "You look back
and had great opportunities to win the series, but
unfortunately, they came up with all the big plays."
"We played a team that was better than us, and that's tough for
me to ever realize or say," Rivers added. "I don't know if I've
ever been prouder of a team in my life. They never stopped
fighting. I can't ease the pain, but that team we played
tonight played one (heck) of a game tonight and one (heck) of a