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McGrady scores 14 in final quarter, Magic slip by

1/7/2003

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Tracy McGrady keeps coming through for the
Orlando Magic.

McGrady had 28 points, 14 in the fourth quarter, seven rebounds
and tied a season-high with nine assists as the Magic beat the New
York Knicks 103-100 on Monday night to snap a two-game losing
streak.

Already one of the game's top players, McGrady's
responsibilities have increased since Grant Hill went down with an
injured ankle.

"We asked a lot of him tonight and you can't ask him to do all
this every night,'' Magic coach Doc Rivers said. "When we ask him
'OK, now you shut this guy down,' 'Now you score,' 'Now you find
the next guy,' I don't know what else. 'Now clean the kitchen?' ''

The Magic had the ball and a 102-100 lead but were called for a
shot-clock violation with 14.5 seconds left. However, Sprewell
missed a jumper from about 20 feet and Orlando's Mike Miller was
fouled, hitting 1-of-2 free throws with 2.2 seconds left.

New York rebounded the second miss but a last-second, full-court
desperation heave by Shandon Anderson fell short.

"I got a real good look,'' Sprewell said of his final shot.
"It was a little bit long.''

McGrady was scoreless in the third quarter but made 5-of-9 from
the field in the fourth and was 3-of-4 from the line.

But McGrady and Rivers said it was his third-quarter defense
that helped Orlando take its first lead of the game, 79-78 with 9.8
seconds remaining in the period.

"A couple of key stops on the defensive end really got us
going,'' McGrady said. "They were outworking us but I think guys
saw the intensity I was playing with on the defensive end. They saw
I was willing to play defense, I was willing to lead and they did a
great job following.''

Miller had 22 points and seven rebounds and Pat Garrity scored
19. The Magic also got a spark from the bench with Darrell
Armstrong scoring 13 and Andrew DeClercq adding 10 rebounds.

New York placed all five starters in double figures with
Sprewell getting 28 on 10-of-23 shooting. Allan Houston had 15 and
Kurt Thomas scored 14. Othella Harrington and Howard Eisley each
had 11.

The Knicks chipped away at a nine-point deficit in the fourth
with Sprewell's 3-pointer tying the game at 95 with 3:04 remaining.
Another basket by Sprewell tied the game, 97-97, but McGrady
answered with a 3-pointer to put Orlando ahead 100-97 with 1:40
left.

Sprewell added three more points in the final 1:26 but it wasn't
enough as New York dropped its second in a row.

"A team like that, they keep coming at you,'' Knicks coach Don
Chaney said. "You can't have moments where you don't play. You
have to remain aggressive.''

Consecutive 3-pointers by Armstrong and Garrity gave Orlando an
87-78 early in the fourth quarter for its biggest lead of the game.
New York didn't make a field goal until Sprewell's basket with 9:10
left made it 87-80.

Game notes
New York's Clarence Weatherspoon (oral surgery) did not
travel with the team and is expected to miss Wednesday's game at
Indiana. ... Orlando's Grant Hill was a pregame scratch so he could
continue resting his surgically repaired left ankle. Hill has
missed the last five games. ... The Knicks hit their first 17 free
throws and until Anderson missed two attempts with 4:24 left. ...
Harrington fouled out with 3:26 remaining in the game. He had 11
points and eight rebounds. ... Orlando's victory evened the
all-time regular-season series, 27-27.