Magic hand Suns 7th straight loss, 98-90
Posted at: 12/10/2012 12:06 AM
By BOB BAUM
(AP) PHOENIX - Rookie Andrew Nicholson scored nine of his career-high 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Orlando Magic pulled away to hand the Phoenix Suns their seventh loss in a row, 98-90 on Sunday night.
Nicholson made 9 of 11 shots and grabbed nine rebounds, also the best of his young career.
J.J. Redick scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half for the Magic in the final stop of their five-game road trip.
Shannon Brown scored 17 and Jared Dudley 15 for the Suns, who were without starting point guard Goran Dragic due to illness.
Phoenix’s losing streak is its longest since 2004.
Redick’s only points of the second half came on a 3-pointer that put the Magic ahead for good, 78-75, with 10:13 remaining.
Orlando, which went 3-2 on its trip west, used an 11-3 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 93-82, when Arron Afflalo made two free throws with 4:38 left.
Dudley scored the first four in a 6-0 spurt that cut it to 93-88 on Marcin Gortat’s 8-foot bank shot 3:19 from the finish.
But Nicholson came off the bench to sink a 14-footer that made it 95-88 with 1:50 to go, then Afflalo made a 20-footer to put Orlando ahead 97-88 with just 1:22 to go.
The Magic led 53-48 at the break after neither team managed a double-digit advantage in the first half.
Redick scored 17 in the half, making 5 of 10 shots, 3 of 6 3-pointers, in 19 minutes.
He sank a 3, then followed with a four-point play _ when he was fouled by Wesley Johnson while sinking a 3 from the top of the key _ to tie it at 29-29 with 10:45 left in the half.
Moments later, Johnson fouled him on an errant 3-point try. Redick made all three from the line to put the Magic up 35-34.
Jameer Nelson scored the last four in an 8-0 spurt that put Orlando ahead 43-36 with 6:08 to play in the half. Markieff Morris’ 19-footer cut it to 51-48 with just under a minute to play. Morris got the ball back on a fastbreak but was called for an offensive foul against Nelson. Nikola Vucevic’s jumper made it a five-point Orlando lead as the second quarter ended.
The Magic extended it to 57-48 with the first two baskets of the second half. The Suns scored the next 11 to go up 59-57 on Gortat’s turnaround 13-footer. The run eventually reached 19-4 with Brown leading the way. He scored 10 in the outburst, including a pair of 3s. The last one came over the outstretched arms of 7-foot Nikola Vucevic to put Phoenix up 67-61 with 4:16 left in the third.
Orlando scored the next eight, capped by Vucevic’s layup, to regain the lead, 69-67. Luis Scola’s three-point play put Phoenix ahead 70-69, then Nicholson’s 17-footer made it 71-70 Magic entering the fourth quarter.
NOTES: With Dragic out, the Suns used their fourth starting lineup of the season. ... Suns reserve P.J. Tucker missed his second straight game with a sore right knee. ... Redick had 14 points in his first 11 minutes on the court. ... The announced attendance was 13,565, though US Airways Center was half-empty. ... Orlando is home against Atlanta on Wednesday. The Suns host Memphis the same night. ... Phoenix trailed the Clippers in Los Angeles by one after three quarters in Los Angeles on Sunday, then lost 117-99.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)