Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
Dwight Howard racked up a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double Tuesday night in the Magic's victory over the Nets.
Orlando 102, New Jersey 92
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 26 (AP) -- With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, the Orlando Magic have no problem getting the ball to Hedo Turkoglu.
The 6-foot-10 forward has been money for the Magic in crunch time all season. He put on another show Tuesday night, scoring scored 17 his 25 points in the final quarter in a 102-92 decision over the New Jersey Nets.
"We have great confidence in him," coach
Turkoglu was almost perfect in the final 12 minutes. He hit all four of his shots from the field, including two 3-pointers, and 7 of 8 free throws. He also had two rebounds, an assist and a steal playing the entire quarter.
"When the time came, I was ready and did my part," said Turkoglu, who said
Slam dunk champion
"He's our go-to guy," Howard said of the forward he teasingly calls "Catfish." "We have total confidence in him. He hits a lot of tough shots in the fourth quarter to win games for us."
Vince Carter had 26 points and
Trailing 81-78 after Kidd's replacement,
Coming into the game, Turkoglu had scored 10 or more points in the fourth quarter 12 times. He made his 13th look easy.
Turkoglu hit an open 3-pointer to tie the game at 81 with 5:18 to go. With the scored tied at 83, Turkoglu scored uncontested when the Nets' defense fell asleep, added a fading, rainbow 3-pointer and two free throws for a 90-83 lead with 2:55 to play.
"When you have a couple going in, you always feel hot," Turkoglu said. "By the way, that wasn't a fadeaway 3. That was my normal 3. It was a tough shot though. Like I said, it always feels good and you always think it's the right shot."
Carter scored on a jumper to get New Jersey within five points, but Howard, Turkoglu and Keith Bogans combined for four free throws to push the lead to 94-85.
"We have played through him in the fourth quarter because he has proven this year he is a clutch player," said Keyon Dooling, who added 14 points along with Maurice Evans. "So we ride him in the fourth quarter, because not only can he score, but he can create shots for other people. He's a unique player. He's 6-10 and can shoot the ball, handle it, pass it and post up. He's one of the most versatile players in the league and everybody is seeing it now." Josh Boone had 12 points and 11 rebounds for New Jersey, which gave up 32 fourth-quarter points in seeing its four-game winning streak at home snapped. "They made plays down the stretch, a bunch of guys," Jefferson said. "I felt like we could have executed a little bit better, but they are a good team. They are a team that has experienced players, and they showed it down the stretch."
Notes: The Magic failed to hit a 3-pointer in the opening half and finished with five, tying their season low. ... Carter was literally 3 feet wide right and 2 feet short on a jumper from the top of the key in the third quarter. ... Orlando is now 20-0 when it holds an opponent under 95 points. ...The Magic have won three of four against New Jersey this season. ... Point guard Devin Harris, acquired in the Kidd trade and expected to take over the position, will practice with the team for the first time on Wednesday. He has not played since Jan. 27 because of a sprained left ankle.