<
>

Magic waste 23 from Hill, Turkoglu

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets broke
out a slump at the expense of the fading Orlando Magic.

Carter had 33 points, seven rebounds and four steals to lead the
Nets to a 98-82 victory over the Magic on Sunday night.

Jacque Vaughn added 22 points on 11-of-17 shooting for New
Jersey, which enjoyed its largest margin of victory in a month.
Before the 16-point win, the Nets had lost four of their last five
games by an average of 20.3 points.

Carter shot only 33 percent (31-of-94) in that five-game span,
but hit 10 of 19 shots against the Magic. He went to the free throw
line 16 times, hitting 12.

"I've been getting good shots, but just not making them,"
Carter said. "I told myself to just shoot the ball with confidence
and that's the way I approached it. It was a fun game to be a part
of."

Magic forward Grant Hill tried to defend Carter most of the
game.

"There are about 20 guys in this league who when they get going
there is nothing you can do about it and Vince had it going," Hill
said "I know Vince has been having a tough season and I wish I
could have done a better job on him, but he was vintage Vince
tonight."

Orlando lost its fourth straight game and is 3-7 since the
All-Star break. Hill, who missed the previous three games with a
shin injury, had 23 points in his return. Hedo Turkoglu also had 23
points.

The Magic dropped to .500 (31-31) for the first time this season
and the frustration is showing. Steve Francis was ejected, rookie
Dwight Howard received the first technical foul of his pro career,
Turkoglu got in a shoving match with Zoran Planinic just before the
buzzer and reserve guard DeShawn Stevenson booted the ball into the
stands at the buzzer.

"The time to get upset about things is during the game when you
can do something about it like play better defense, communicate,
move the ball ... that's the way you should respond," Magic coach
Johnny Davis said.

The Nets, who led 43-41 at halftime, broke open the game by
outscoring the Magic 34-14 in the third period. The Magic's demise
began on offense where they turned the ball over 10 times in the
quarter. That ignited a previously dormant New Jersey fast break.
The Nets scored 17 points off the break in the period after scoring
getting just two points on the fast break in the first half.

"Our defense gave our offense some confidence," Nets coach
Lawrence Frank said. "Jacque (Vaughn) was huge, running the floor,
active as heck and Vince getting to the line 16 times. Hopefully we
can continue to build on this."
^Notes:@ Howard, who averaged 15 points and 14.2 rebounds in his
previous six games, had only two points and eight rebounds against
the Nets. ... Orlando will open a five-game West Coast trip Tuesday
night in Sacramento.