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Davis Is Fired as Magic Coach

Friday, March 18, 2005; Page D02

The Orlando Magic fired coach Johnny Davis yesterday, a move that came hours after the club -- which has faced several controversies in recent days -- lost its sixth consecutive game. The Magic, which also fired assistant coach Ron Ekker, replaced Davis with another one of his assistants, Chris Jent.

"We will continue to do everything possible to make this team better and feel at this time that we need a new voice and direction," Orlando General Manager John Weisbrod said in a statement.

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The dismissal marks a swift change of fortune for Davis, who earlier in the season was mentioned as a possible coach of the year candidate after the Magic opened at 11-5. But in the last two months the team has played, and in some cases behaved, erratically.

This week, the NBA suspended Orlando reserve forward Stacey Augmon for threatening reporters and throwing a bottle of lotion at them last weekend. The league also is looking into reports that Augmon made a lewd remark to a female reporter.

On the court, the club has seemed unable to recover from the loss of former shooting guard Cuttino Mobley, who was traded in January to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Doug Christie.

Christie announced earlier this month that he likely would miss the rest of the season to undergo ankle surgery. Before Mobley's Jan. 10 trade, the Magic was 18-14, and has gone 13-19 since.

Davis, named head coach in November 2003, had a 51-84 record with Orlando.

-- Greg Sandoval

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