ORLANDO, Fla., March 10 (Ticker) --
Imagine how many points Tracy McGrady
would have scored had he not missed 10 of his last 11
shots and nine free throws.
NBA TV highlights from|
McGrady's career night:
McGrady became the first player in more than four years to
eclipse 60 points, going for a staggering 62 as the Orlando
Magic posted a 108-99 victory over the Washington Wizards.
"My teammates came to me and told me to get 60, then they told
me to get 70," McGrady said, laughing. "I was going for 70 and
if I would have made my free throws, I would have had it. But
this was a big night for me personally because it's been a long
season. It's been a frustrating season, but this will give me a
Using his usual assortment of drives and jumpers, the 6-9
superstar became just the 17th player in NBA history to score 60
points. He made 20-of-37 shots, including 5-of-14 from 3-point
range, and 17-of-26 free throws, missing a chance at becoming
just the fifth player to score 70.
It still was the highest-scoring game in the NBA since David
Robinson clinched the 1993-1994 scoring title with 71 points for
San Antonio against the Los Angeles Clippers in the season
The NBA's scoring leader and defending scoring champion, McGrady
became the first player to score 60 in a game since Shaquille O'Neal
had 61 for the Lakers on March 6, 2000, also against the
Clippers. Ironically, McGrady shattered O'Neal's franchise
record of 53 set April 20, 1994 vs. Minnesota.
McGrady, who also had 10 rebounds and five assists, scored seven
points in the first quarter, 21 in the second and 24 in the
third. He hit 19 of his first 26 shots before going cold.
"I didn't lose my legs. I was fresh the whole game," said
McGrady, who played 46 minutes. "It was just when you get to a
point where you are about to break records, break your career
high, break the Magic single-game high, all those things get in
your head. It was in the back of my mind, that's why I was
missing free throws. That's why I went on a little cold drought
missing jumpers, layups, because I was thinking about it."
McGrady's only basket in the fourth quarter was a twisting
reverse layup with 7:39 left. He also made just 8-of-14 free
throws in the final period.
Serenaded with chants of "T-Mac, T-Mac" by a crowd of 12,538,
McGrady scored his 60th point on a free throw with 5:44
remaining. He hit 1-of-2 from the line with 4:47 left and again
with 2:42 remaining to complete his performance.
McGrady held the previous league season high with 51 points in a
loss at Denver on November 14. His previous career high was 52
points on February 21, 2003 against Chicago. McGrady's other
50-point game came against Washington on March 8, 2002.
"He was knocking down shots, even out of double-teams," said
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan. "He's good off the ball getting the
ball and scoring, and he's good with the ball getting screen
and rolls. It was just one of those nights where he had it
and Mitchell Butler
attempted to cover McGrady,
who beat them off the dribble and screens and blew by Christian Laettner
and Etan Thomas
Gilbert Arenas scored a season-high 40 points for Washington,
one shy of his career high. But it paled in comparison to
McGrady, who averaged 40.8 points in four wins against the
Wizards this season.
"I was trying to keep up with him," said Arenas, who was the
first to congratulate McGrady after the game. "But it's harder
for me because I have to bring the ball up and get by my man and
get to the basket. He can just come off a screen and at 6-8
it's easier for him."
McGrady outscored the Wizards, 24-23, in the first 18 minutes.
He scored 17 of the Magic's first 19 points in the second
quarter, helping them open a 38-23 advantage.
"He was rolling and we were just trying to get him the ball,"
said Magic point guard Tyronn Lue
. "It was one of those nights
that he knew that he was feeling it."
Arenas scored nine of Washington's last 11 points in the quarter
as the Wizards pulled within 46-40 before McGrady closed the
half with a 3-pointer.
McGrady's 24 points in the third quarter was one shy of his
record for points in a quarter set March 9, 2003 vs. Denver. His
reverse layup in the fourth quarter, a scintillating drive in
which he dribbled past Jeffries and ducked under Thomas before
twisting toward the basket. It increased Orlando's lead to