Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 2/15

Game 1: Tuesday, February 15th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 16th

Magic 102

(31-33, 10-23 away)

Clippers 110

(29-35, 22-12 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 16, 2005

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 26 28 17 31102
    LAC 32 26 29 23110

    Top Performers

    Orl: D. Howard 29 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    LAC: C. Maggette 31 Pts, 6 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Maggette scores 31 despite sore wrist

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Corey Maggette played hurt against the team he began his NBA career with -- and he did some damage to the Orlando Magic.

    Maggette shrugged off a sore left wrist and scored 31 points Wednesday night, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 110-102 victory that extended Orlando's losing streak to a season-high six games.

    "I needed to play," said Maggette, who was injured in a fall during Sunday's win against Chicago and had his wrist heavily taped. "I mean, if it's my shooting arm, or if I can't run, that's a different story. But we needed this win, so I was just trying to stay out there and do what I could to help our team."

    Maggette also tied a season high with eight assists. Chris Kaman had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who improved to 29-35 and eclipsed last season's win total despite coughing up most of a 22-point lead they had with 8:31 remaining.

    "We had that big lead, and that's what carried us to the end," said Elton Brand, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds. "I'm disappointed in the way we gave it up, but we got the win."

    Rookie Dwight Howard had a career-high 29 points and grabbed 12 boards for the Magic, who have dropped nine of 12 and are two games under .500 for the first time this season. Rookie Jameer Nelson scored 22 points before fouling out with 28.8 seconds left.

    The loss dropped Orlando into a tie with idle Philadelphia for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Last year, the Magic were a league-worst 21-61.

    "We're in trouble. We haven't won for like a week or so," Francis said. "This is definitely our lowest point of the season. We just need to get back to playing the up-tempo style of game that we're used to."

    Howard, the first overall pick in last year's draft, was 14-for-17 from the field after taking only one shot on Tuesday night at Sacramento and missing it. But Steve Francis, who came in shooting 42.4 percent from the field and averaging a team-high 21.5 points, missed seven of his first eight shots and finished 4-for-17 with 15 points.

    "They did a good job on Steve defensively and caused him to miss a lot of shots that he normally makes for us," coach Johnny Davis said. "It was a pretty good defensive job by Maggette -- and he also hurt us at the other end, hitting key shots when we had to get key stops."

    The Clippers opened the fourth quarter with an 8-2 spurt run that gave them a 95-73 cushion with 8:31 to play. But they missed 10 of their first 12 shots in the quarter and went eight minutes and 2 seconds between field goals.

    "The only way you give yourself a chance is by really locking people down defensively," Davis said. "We had a stretch there where we did close the game down, but you can't spot a team that many points and expect a team to come back because then you have to play perfect basketball."

    The Magic narrowed the gap to 98-93 with a 20-3 run capped by Francis' three-point play with 2:58 left, but that was as close as they got. The Clippers converted six consecutive free throws before Rick Brunson's 3-pointer ended the field goal drought and restored Los Angeles' double-digit lead at 107-97 with a minute left.

    "That was the dagger," Maggette said. "Teams go through stretches where they miss shots, but in the end, we came out with a W. We made a lot of mistakes, but we did a lot of good things, too."

    Stacey Augmon was benched by coach Johnny Davis after serving a one-game suspension for cursing and squirting lotion at three Florida-based sportswriters following Sunday's home loss to New Jersey. The incident began when Augmon took exception to a post-game question that one of the beat writers asked Francis, and deteriorated to the point where Augmon had to be restrained by a club spokesman.

    "I just didn't see a spot for him tonight where he would have come in and given us what he normally gives us," Davis said. "Being down most of the night, we were looking for offensive-oriented players -- especially in the second half. And Stacey's more on the defensive end."

    Game notes

    Los Angeles was leading 72-62 when the ball bounced out of bounds at midcourt and right into the hands of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. He shook Francis' hand and said something to him before handing the ball to him for the ensuing inbounds play. ... Maggette spent his rookie season with Orlando after getting selected 13th overall in the 1999 draft by Seattle. ... Clippers G Marko Jaric did not dress because of a hip pointer. ... Orlando made only seven turnovers after totaling 45 in the previous two games -- including a season-high 25 Tuesday's 105-94 loss at Sacramento.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 102 110
    FGM-FGA 41-81 (.506) 37-77 (.481)
    3PM-3PA 2-4 (.500) 6-10 (.600)
    FTM-FTA 18-23 (.783) 30-37 (.811)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-30 14-44
    Assists 20 28
    Turnovers 7 15
    Steals 10 7
    Blocks 4 7
    Fast Break Points 10 15
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (1/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 5 22

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Dwight Howard Howard
    Points: 29
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Corey Maggette Maggette
    Points: 31
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0