By John Denton
March 4, 2013
NEW ORLEANS – With just a couple of minutes remaining in Monday’s game and 33-year-old Al Harrington wheezing up and down the floor, a courtside fan jokingly yelled that the veteran power forward might soon need medical assistance.
Harrington, nicknamed ``Cheddar Cheese’’ because of his wide, toothy smile, responded as he always does by flashing a wide grin at the fan.
Harrington then responded to the taunt by scoring eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter and teaming with Arron Afflalo, who scored 11 of his game-high 26 points in the final period, to lead a spirited Magic comeback for a 105-102 defeat of the New Orleans Hornets.
``I love playing on the road. I wish I could play 82 road games,’’ Harrington said with a laugh, referring to the fan taunting him about his age. ``No disrespect from our fans, but that’s fun for me.’’
Once down as much as 17 points in the first half and trailing 97-88 with 3:30 to play following a flurry from former Orlando power forward Ryan Anderson, the Magic made a furious push in the fourth quarter behind Afflalo and Harrington. Orlando outscored New Orleans 17-5 over the final 3:30 to pull out a second consecutive road victory.
``It’s great to see the guys feel it and get rewarded for their play,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``They weren’t getting too high and not getting too low. We get down 17 and we just plugged away each possession and that was great to see from multiple people.’’
Harrington made a corner 3-pointer off a feed from Afflalo with 1:20 to play to put the Magic ahead 99-98. Then, after a Hornets basket, Afflalo scored over Eric Gordon to give the Magic a lead they would not surrender.
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