ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Magic kept their slim Eastern
Conference playoff hopes alive with a sixth straight win, but
didn't get the two losses they needed even more.
The win keeps Orlando in the hunt for an eighth seed in the
Eastern Conference, but just barely. Chicago and Philadelphia kept
a three-game cushion over the Magic by beating Atlanta and New
The Magic are out of contention if either of those teams wins
two more games, or if Orlando loses one of its last four and either
the 76ers or Bulls win just one more.
"They're probably playing a little better than Philly or
Chicago," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "The unfortunate thing
is, they're running out of games."
Orlando has won 10 of its last 11, but gets no rest before its
next game, which is a tall order: Thursday night at San Antonio,
which is still battling Dallas for top seed in the West.
"I tell the guys we've got to take care of our own business,
and we're either going to get help from somebody else or not,"
Orlando coach Brian Hill said.
Morris Peterson had 23 points, five assists and eight rebounds
and Mike James had 21 points and five assists for Toronto, which
hasn't won since losing All-Star forward Chris Bosh to a
season-ending thumb injury March 26. James had been doing most of
the Raptors' scoring with more than 30 points the past four games.
"They're playing for a playoff spot, and they've been playing
well as of late," Peterson said. "The thing we have to
understand, all the young guys in this locker room look out and see
what a playoff atmosphere is like and try to take the experience."
Charlie Villanueva added 19 points and six rebounds for Toronto,
but was limited by foul trouble in the third quarter.
The Raptors pulled within seven points with 4:17 left after Joey
Graham dunked, but would get no closer in a sloppy fourth quarter
that included a stretch of six straight turnovers -- three apiece
for the Raptors and Magic.
Nelson, who had seven assists, hit a 3-pointer with 3:35 left
after a Peterson miss to put Orlando ahead 101-89, sealing the win.
Nelson scored six points and Turkoglu had four in an 11-0 Magic
run for a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter. Nelson
added five more points at the end of the period -- including a
3-pointer from the top of the key with 1.5 seconds left -- to give
Orlando an 86-75 advantage.
Toronto built a 44-36 lead midway through the second quarter on
a 20-6 run, with Villanueva and James contributing all the Raptors'
points. Villanueva hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions,
scoring 11 points in the quarter after going 0-for-3 in the first.
The Raptors were 4-of-5 from behind the arc in the quarter and
8-of-15 on the game.
^Notes:@ Magic G Carlos Arroyo missed his second straight game
with a strained left hamstring. ... Toronto received a
delay-of-game technical in the third quarter when Sow batted the
ball off the court after a dunk. ... Orlando's bench outscored
Toronto reserves 18-11. ... Graham fouled out at 1:18 with two
points in 19 minutes.
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