FINAL: ORLANDO MAGIC 78, MILWAUKEE BUCKS 72


GameNight Specifics
NBA Coverage: Game Info
Date: Tuesday, April 5
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Amway Center (ORLANDO, FL)
Radio: AM 580 WDBO, AM 1270 WRLZ
Television: FS Florida



PROJECTED MATCHUPS

LINEUPS MAY CHANGE BY GAME TIME


TEAM
PG
SG
C
PF
SF
R
R
BUCKS
Brandon Jennings

John Salmons

Andrew Bogut

Luc Richard

Ersan Ilyasova

Corey Maggette

Larry Sanders
MAGIC
Jameer Nelson

Jason Richardson

Dwight Howard

Brandon Bass

Hedo Turkoglu

Ryan Anderson

Quentin Richardson





















GAME RECAP


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Dwight Howard had 18 points and 17 rebounds, Jameer Nelson scored 17 and the Orlando Magic beat the Milwaukee Bucks 78-72 on Tuesday night.

Coupled with Atlanta's 97-90 loss to San Antonio, the Magic clinched the No. 4 seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs. Orlando won three of four in the season series to improve to 16-5 in its last 21 meetings against the Bucks.

Orlando shot just 38 percent, including a stretch of 19 straight misses from the 3-point line.

Milwaukee's dwindling playoff hopes took a big hit. Entering Tuesday, any combination of two Bucks losses or victories by idle Indiana eliminated them from postseason contention. Milwaukee could be officially eliminated Wednesday if it loses at Miami.

Drew Gooden scored 18 points for the Bucks, and Keyon Dooling finished with 10.

Nelson, who had logged 42 minutes in each of the Magic's previous two games, was able to get a little more rest Tuesday with backup point guards Gilbert Arenas and Chris Duhon both returning to the active list.

Arenas had missed two straight games with flulike symptoms and Duhon three consecutive games with a sprained ligament in his right thumb. Arenas first relieved Nelson in the opening quarter and played 16 minutes against the Bucks. Duhon entered for the first time in the second quarter and played 11 minutes while wearing a protective brace on his hand.

Orlando led by as many as 16 in the first half, but Jennings' running layup tied it at 61 with 9:23 remaining in the game. Milwaukee threatened to take the lead on several trips over the next three minutes, but struggled to get the go-ahead bucket to fall.

The Magic opened a 70-64 lead before Gooden converted two three-point plays to leave it tied again at 72. Nelson responded with a deep jumper that put Orlando in front again, Andrew Bogut had a turnover on the other end, and Hedo Turkoglu hit a jumper to make it 76-72 with just 47.6 seconds left.

Jennings missed a 3 on the Bucks' next trip and a rebound by the Magic helped seal it.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy gave his team the day off Monday and also canceled its usual gameday shootaround. The rest seemed to help early as Orlando jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the opening five minutes and led 42-33 at the break.

As impressive as the opening spurt was, neither team was particularly impressive in the first half offensively.

Milwaukee shot just 32 percent from the floor with eight turnovers. Orlando shot 55 percent (11 for 20) in the first quarter, but just 2 for 14 in the second. The Magic had 11 turnovers of their own, but were able to keep the lead at the free-throw line, connecting on 14 of their 20 attempts.

The Bucks missed their first eight shots of the game, prompting Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles to call a timeout with 6:40 left. He benched his entire starting five the rest of the period and for the start of the second quarter.

Milwaukee didn't get its first basket until Gooden scored with 6:31 to play in the first via a goaltending call on Howard.

NOTES: Van Gundy was whistled for his ninth technical foul of the season with 2:48 remaining in the second quarter. It tied him with Portland's Nate McMillan for the league lead among coaches. ... Magic G J.J. Redick sat out his 13th straight game with a lower abdominal strain. Van Gundy said they expect to know more about his prognosis on Thursday or Friday.





DENTON'S RECAP VS. BUCKS


ORLANDO – On a night when his Orlando Magic squandered a two-touchdown lead to start the game, missed their last 19 3-point attempts and tied a season-high in turnovers with 21, coach Stan Van Gundy made a crack about his team resembling the Butler Bulldogs in the NCAA National Championship Game.

But still, there was something meaningful and tangible for the Magic to cling to and be proud of Tuesday night.

Orlando’s 78-72 defeat of Milwaukee combined with Atlanta’s 97-90 loss to San Antonio on Tuesday night secured the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and ensured that the Magic will open the playoffs on either April 16 or 17 at the Amway Center.

``That’s good, but we’re not really playing for that; we’re playing to get better for the playoffs,’’ Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu said of Orlando locking up the fourth seed and a likely first-round showdown against Atlanta. ``When the time comes for the playoffs we want our level to be as high as possible and our confidence level to be up, too. Eventually, the real thing will get here and we’ll have to make sure that we’re ready.’’

Orlando (49-29) snapped a two-game losing streak by starting the real really well and ending it with several clutch plays from Dwight Howard (18 points and 17 rebounds), Jameer Nelson (17 points) and Hedo Turkoglu (12 points and 10 rebounds). Nelson had a jumper with 1:41 to play off a jump-ball tap from Howard to break a 72-all, and then he swiped the ball from Brandon Jennings seconds later. Turkoglu drilled a step-back jump shot with 47 seconds to seal the victory. And in addition to holding Andrew Bogut to two points, Howard grabbed several rebounds in traffic down the stretch to preserve the victory.

``We know where we’re at, but we still have to come out and play hard,’’ Howard said. ``The fans want to see a show regardless, so we’ve got to come out and make sure that we finish the season strong.’’

The Magic incredibly raced to a 14-0 lead when the Bucks (31-46) missed their first eight shots. Milwaukee’s first two field goals came on Howard goaltending calls and its first shot to find the net came with 2:26 left in the first period. The Bucks missed 11 of their first 12 shots and trailed by as many as 16 points in the first quarter.

Here is a look back at what went right, what went wrong and some final observations from Tuesday night’s game at the Amway Center:

READ THE REST OF DENTON'S ANALYSIS





MAGIC VIDEO