Tracy McGrady might have won over a few MVP voters with his 30-point, 10-assist performance against another candidate for the NBA's top award. Even better for the Orlando Magic, he helped it win another crucial game.
McGrady scored seven points in the final 3 minutes 54 seconds and outdueled Minnesota's Kevin Garnett to help host Orlando defeat the Timberwolves, 110-107, last night. The night before McGrady had 41 points and a key block to lead the Magic back from a 20-point deficit to beat New Orleans.
"It seems like it's not going to stop here," said McGrady, who extended his streak of 30-point games to 12 despite being hounded by Garnett. "These two wins should really give us a lot of confidence for the remainder of the season."
Orlando, which has won six of seven, has a half-game lead over idle Boston for the No. 6 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Magic (39-34) also moved a season-best five games over .500.
Garnett had 26 points and 14 rebounds for his 20th double-double in his last 21 games. But he scored only nine points after halftime, worn out from defending the NBA's top scorer.
"The mind is saying yes, but the body is saying something else," Garnett said.
McGrady's two free throws with 25 seconds remaining put Orlando up 106-104 -- its first lead since 7-6 -- and capped a run of nine straight points in a span of 2:10.
Garnett drew a foul on Minnesota's ensuing possession, but he missed one of two free throws with 18 seconds left. Darrell Armstrong then hit four foul shots in the final 16 seconds.
* SPURS 98, ROCKETS 85: Stephen Jackson scored 27 points and Tim Duncan added 25 points and 14 rebounds to lead host San Antonio.
Jackson scored 11 of his points in the third quarter, when the Spurs extended their 11-point halftime lead to 20.
The loss dropped Houston (37-35) a half-game behind the idle Phoenix Suns in the race for the eighth and final postseason berth in the Western Conference.
* KINGS 93, CLIPPERS 83: Chris Webber had 23 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in three quarters as Sacramento easily won its fifth straight game.
The Kings lowered their magic number to win their second straight Pacific Division title to four.