Nelson, Magic Extend Winning Streak to Six
Orlando 103, Toronto 96
ORLANDO, Fla., April 12 (Ticker) -- With a playoff berth still a remote possibility, the Orlando Magic were glad to see the Toronto Raptors.
Jameer Nelson had 27 points and seven assists and Dwight Howard added 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Magic extended their winning streak to six games with a 103-96 victory over the reeling Raptors.
"I'm calling (Nets coach) Lawrence Frank," Orlando coach Brian Hill joked when asked about his team's slim playoff hopes. "(Losing to) Chicago and Philadelphia back-to-back. ... they could've helped us. We helped them with the Miami game and they're not doing a darn thing. But that's the way it is. We're either going to get some help or not. The main thing, is how we play and finish."
Hedo Turkoglu, who scored 18 points, drained a 3-pointer with 10:34 remaining to give the Magic a 91-77 lead.
"It's closing the games," said Turkoglu, who added seven assists. "We know right now how to close games no matter what happens. If we go down or up, we have confidence. It's making plays for each other and closing the game."
The Raptors were able to rally within 93-86 with 7:16 to play. However, Orlando pulled away for good when Nelson hit his fourth shot from the arc rebuilding the lead back to double digits.
"I had to picked it up on both ends (in the second half)," said Nelson, who made 4-of-7 from the arc. "The long 3-pointer ... I practice those right before every game. I pretty much knew I was going to take that shot coming up the floor."
"He's (Nelson) playing with a lot of confidence," Hill said. "He's playing really well, shooting the ball well, attacking the basket and finding other people on the floor."
Tony Battie scored 16 points and DeShawn Stevenson added 10 and two steals for the Magic, who won their 11th straight at home. Orlando shot 47 percent (38-of-80).
Morris Peterson scored 23 points and Mike James contributed 21 for Toronto (26-53), which lost its 10th straight game.
"It is not how you start a game, it's how you finish," said James, who scored just two points after the break. "We didn't win. They were knocking down shots and we weren't. They were making plays and we weren't. That's what it's all about."
The Raptors shot 47 percent (37-of-78) and went 8-of-15 from the arc.