Turkoglu, Magic Push Streak to Four Straight
Orlando 111, Phoenix 102
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 24 (Ticker) -- Hedo Turkoglu wasn't ready for the Orlando Magic's winning streak to end, so he put together his best effort of the season.
Turkgolu scored 12 of his season-high 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Magic won their season-high fourth straight game, a 111-102 triumph over the Phoenix Suns.
"Steve Francis was out and they were doing a good job against Dwight Howard, so I had to take over and do something to help," said Turkoglu, who made 6-of-9 shots in the fourth quarter. "My teammates and coach kept giving me the ball at the end and had confidence in me and it's really nice. I'm just happy to be in that role."
Eddie House's jumper with 7:37 remaining gave the Suns 93-91 lead. After Keyon Dooling split a pair of free throws, rookie Travis Diener nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner giving Orlando a two-point edge.
A basket by Steve Nash tied it, but Turkoglu scored the Magic's next six points for a 101-98 advantage with just over five minutes to go. Turkoglu added a turnaround fadeaway jumper with 2:09 remaining to push the lead to 105-100.
"The thing that's separating him from years past is his attacking the basket," Orlando coach Brian Hill said. "He's putting the ball on the floor and really looking to get to the basket."
"We didn't stop Turkoglu," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "And then they get a couple of offensive rebounds and we didn't convert on the other end. It all adds up to a loss. Bottom line is, we didn't do a good job of defending them." Francis made four free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.
Howard had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Francis scored 15 points for the Magic, who shot 54 percent (41-of-75). Dooling scored 10 points in his return from a five-game suspension for a fight with Seattle's Ray Allen on January 11.
"It felt good to come back and help contribute," said Dooling, who made 4-of-11 shots. "We defended our home court and came out with a big win."
"Keyon's forte is the defensive aggressiveness that he brings to the game," Hill said. "He was probably juiced up a little bit as far as getting back after the suspension. Having him back was a huge plus for us."
Shawn Marion collected 26 points and 16 rebounds and Nash added 22 and 12 assists for Phoenix, which has lost two in a row. The Suns shot 46 percent (41-of-89) in the opener of a five-game road trip.
"I don't think you can blame it on anything but a lack of intensity," said Nash, who made 8-of-15 shots. "We were pretty passive to start the game and never got going."
"Our defense is not where it needs to be right now," said Marion, who added four steals. "I don't know what's going on but we need to regroup and get our defense back. Right now, we have lost two in a row. We have to come together and get our defense going."