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Nelson, Magic Top 76ers

Associated Press
Sunday, January 23, 2005; Page E09

Hedo Turkoglu scored 22 points, Dwight Howard added 21 and the short-handed Magic rallied to beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 115-111, last night in Orlando.

The Magic, missing Grant Hill because of a bruised right wrist, trailed by six with 2 minutes 2 seconds left to play after an Allen Iverson jumper.


Orlando's Jameer Nelson (12 points) leaves the 76ers' Willie Green behind. (Peter Cosgrove -- AP)

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Iverson finished with 38 points, his most since sitting out a game two weeks ago with a sprained ankle. Samuel Dalembert tied his career high with 24 points, and added a season-best 16 rebounds.

Jameer Nelson sparked the comeback with two steals and three free throws, cutting the deficit to a point. Nelson had seven steals, one short of the franchise record, to go with his 12 points.

Orlando took the lead on Steve Francis's putback with 24 seconds to go. He had 14 points, nearly eight below his average, on 4-of-14 shooting.

On Philadelphia's final two possessions, Corliss Williamson missed two short shots and the Magic rebounded both.

The Magic won despite tying a season worst with 12 missed free throws (35 for 47) and committing 22 turnovers -- but only one in the final 14 1/2 minutes.

Philadelphia trailed by 15 in the first half, but rode Dalembert to take an 85-84 lead. He had picked up his fifth foul midway through the third quarter, but that seemed to spark him.

Over the next eight minutes, Dalembert had 14 points, six rebounds and a pair of blocks.

This was a matchup of two of the league's faster-paced squads, with the offenses in overdrive and the defenses in retreat.

Orlando opened the game shooting 9 of 11 while Philadelphia got 24 of its 36 first-quarter points in the lane.

The Magic's reserves locked down the 76ers. Philadelphia was held scoreless for a 5:28 span in the first half, until an Iverson three-pointer.

The 76ers made six shots in the second quarter -- Iverson sank four and assisted on the other two.

Meantime, Orlando's halfcourt offense was flawless, springing Pat Garrity time and again for open looks. In the Magic's 19-3 run, he made five straight shots, including three three-pointers. He finished with 18 points.


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