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Magic withstand late rally to beat Blazers 102-94


Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) The Orlando Magic rarely rely on one star for consistent production.

They don't seem to need it.

The Magic got 25 points apiece from Tobias Harris and Nik Vucevic and late offensive help from Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo in a 102-94 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

It was the third straight win for the Magic, who have won nine of 12. Harris and Vucevic carried a stagnant Magic offense for the first three quarters before finally getting some help in the fourth. Harris was 9-of-13 shooting and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. Vucevic was 12 of 22 and had 11 boards.

"We're going to get a pretty good effort from those guys pretty much night in and night out," Magic coach Scott Skiles said.

"The goal is to win by any means possible," Harris said. "That's pretty much been our team all year. Whoever has the hot hand, we keep feeding him and build trust that the guy with the hot hand is going to make the right play."

CJ McCollum led Portland with 29 points. Damian Lillard added 17 points and 10 assists, and Al-Farouq Aminu had 16 for the Trail Blazers.

The Trail Blazers trailed by 14 with four minutes left before making 3-pointers on four possessions in a row to cut the deficit to 100-94 with just over a minute to play. However McCollum missed an open 3 on the Trail Blazers' next possession and the rally fizzled.

Portland turned the ball over four times and missed two shots on its first six possessions of the fourth.

Orlando converted 19 turnovers by Portland into 23 points.

"Turnovers come in bunches for us," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "Orlando did a nice job pressuring us into mistakes. Some of it was our fault, some was the defense, but we have to do a better job of understanding the game and not compounding one mistake with another."

Payton had a career-high 17 free throws and made 11. Oladipo, who scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, started the final period with a 3-pointer and long jumper to help the Magic go up 81-68 with 9:31 left in the game.

The Magic went on a 14-2 run early in the third quarter to push a one-point halftime lead into a 67-55 lead. Orlando limited Portland to 1-of-10 shooting during the run and got dunks from Harris and Vucevic to wake up a quiet crowd.


Trailblazers: Portland took only 11 shots and scored just eight points in the paint in the first half. ... PG Damian Lillard had missed 21 straight 3-pointers in his first three visits to Orlando before finally draining a 3 with 4:33 left in the third period. He finished the game 2 for 6 from behind the arc. ... Portland's bench was just 8 for 23 in the game.

Magic: Orlando outrebounded Portland 48-42. ... Orlando was 0 for 8 on 3-pointers in the first half and 2 for 15 in the game. ... First-round pick Mario Hezonja, who hit 10 of 15 shots and scored 28 points playing the backup PG role the last three games, sat the bench the entire game.


The Magic honored retired former star Hedo Turkoglu during the game. Turkoglu played nine seasons in Orlando and won the NBA Most improved Player award in 2008. He averaged 14.5 points a game and helped the Magic reach the NBA Finals in 2009. "You always dream of playing on good teams, being successful and being recognized by the fans so this is really special for me," Turkoglu said. Turkoglu is now the CEO of the basketball federation in his native country of Turkey.


Trail Blazers: play at Miami Sunday.

Magic: host Atlanta Sunday.

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