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Raptors scoreless over last 4:54, lose ninth straight

3/1/2002

TORONTO (AP) -- Vince Carter just can't dunk. The Toronto Raptors
just can't win.

Tracy McGrady scored 24 points and Toronto went scoreless in the
last 4:54 as the Orlando Magic beat the Raptors 90-85 Wednesday
night, Toronto's ninth straight loss.

"I might not dunk the rest of the season," Carter said.

Carter had 22 points in his second game back from the injured list. The Raptors went 0-7 when Carter was out with a strained left quadriceps

"It's still a little sore, a little painful, but I can't quit now," Carter said. "I'm not trying to be a hero. I definitely would not have come back if I wasn't ready. I'm still able to play, but I'm not as effective. I don't have the lift off that I normally have. It's funny when you get booed because of a layup. It's two points, you're trying to win a game."

Carter, booed after failing to dunk on a breakaway, went to the foul line just twice, while McGrady made all 10 of his free throws. McGrady also had eight assists.

"I don't think Vince is comfortable," McGrady said. "I think something is still bothering him. Maybe he's still hurt and trying to play on that injured leg. I hope he ain't trying to be a hero. If he's hurt he should rest, but it's not just him.

"They have a talented team over there. They definitely shouldn't have the record that they have right now."

Keon Clark added 20 points and nine rebounds, and Antonio Davis had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who are on their longest losing streak since a 13-game skid from March 20-April 12, 1998.

Toronto fell one game below .500 (29-30)


Horace Grant
added 18 points for the Magic, who have won five of
their last six.

"For a team not known for it's defense, we played great D
tonight," Orlando coach Doc Rivers said.

Carter's rainbow jumper gave Toronto a six-point lead with 4:54
remaining -- Toronto's last points of the night. The Raptors missed
their last nine shots.

McGrady, guarded by Carter, followed with a turnaround jumper.
McGrady then assisted on Darrell Armstrong's wide open 3-pointer,
which narrowed Toronto's lead to one with 3:09 left.

Grant made an uncontested layup off an inbounds pass, giving
Orlando the lead with 2:20 remaining.

"That was my mistake," Clark said.

A variety of Raptors then missed shots before Armstrong made two free throws with 15 seconds left, giving Orlando a 3-point lead.

Morris Peterson, who went 0-for-7 from the field, then missed an
off-balance 3-pointer. Armstrong followed with two free throws with
less than 10 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

"We locked down our defense," McGrady said. "We made them take tough shots."

Toronto shot 38.5 percent, compared to 50 percent for Orlando.

"You can't win when you shoot 39 percent and score 12 points in
the fourth quarter," McGrady said.

Clark had 12 points as Toronto led 47-46 at halftime.

McGrady blew by Jerome Williams for a tomahawk dunk in the first
quarter. Orlando shot 62.5 percent and led 27-20 at the end of the
first period.

Game notes
Orlando outscored Toronto 20-12 in the fourth quarter. ...
Orlando has won seven of nine. ... Toronto's Hakeem Olajuwon went
1-for-5 from the field for just two points in his second game back
from the injured list. ... Olajuwon had four blocks in the second
quarter, including one on another aging center, Patrick Ewing.