Steve Francis scored a season-high 32 points, and Grant Hill added 27 points and 12 rebounds to rally the Magic to a 122-113 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Lakers last night in Orlando.
Comebacks are something Hill knows all about, having been severely hampered by an ankle injury during his first four seasons with the Magic. So trailing by 18 against the Lakers was no big deal.
"We're an explosive team," Hill said. "It's just a matter of when we're going to explode. We did that and got ourselves back in the game."
The Magic was behind 39-21 early in the second quarter but used an impressive performance from Francis and another encouraging outing from Hill to get back in the game.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers in scoring for the seventh consecutive game, finishing with a season-high 41 points on 14-of-31 shooting. He was 11 of 12 from the free throw line.
Bryant's three-point play with a little more than five minutes to play cut Orlando's lead to 107-103. But Hill hit a three-pointer as the shot clock expired with 1 minute 38 seconds to play, giving the Heat a 116-106 lead.
He added another one with 28 seconds to play that sent the crowd into a frenzy and got him a well-deserved standing ovation.
* 76ERS 106, PACERS 104: Allen Iverson sank a 14-footer as time expired in overtime to lead host Philadelphia to victory.
Iverson, who sent a game into overtime in the final seconds earlier this week, took the ball the length of the court and beat the short-handed Pacers with a shot from the free throw line.
Iverson (15 points) played 44 minutes, but shot just 5 for 23.
"I just couldn't get in no type of rhythm," Iverson said. "I couldn't get warm. I couldn't feel my hands the whole game."
The win spoiled the return of Indiana's Ron Artest, who was benched for two games for asking for time off because of his busy schedule -- including recording a rap album.
Artest scored 29 points, Jermaine O'Neal had 39 points and Stephen Jackson added 17 for Indiana.
* CELTICS 91, BOBCATS 74: Gary Payton and Ricky Davis turned a tight game into a runaway in the third quarter and host Boston won its third straight.
Payton had 10 points and Davis added six in the fourth quarter as the Celtics used an up-tempo attack to break a 41-41 halftime tie and take a 68-57 lead.
Davis finished with 19 points and Payton added 15.
* KNICKS 110, CLIPPERS 96: Stephon Marbury had 21 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, getting a little extra rest before beginning a tough road trip as New York won at home.
The Knicks will play their next four games at Indiana, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
* GRIZZLIES 96, WARRIORS 67: Pau Gasol had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and host Memphis beat winless Golden State. The Warriors (0-6) are off to their worst start since dropping nine straight to open the 1997-98 season.
* SPURS 93, HEAT 84: Manu Ginobili scored 29 points and host San Antonio held longtime nemesis Shaquille O'Neal scoreless down the stretch.
O'Neal, who had 23 rebounds, scored 12 of his 23 points in the third quarter before getting into foul trouble.
* HAWKS 96, HORNETS 95: Antoine Walker scored 27 points and visiting Atlanta won its first game, a victory over winless New Orleans (0-5).
* SUPERSONICS 88, RAPTORS 87: Ray Allen scored 29 points and reserve Antonio Daniels added 16 to lead host Seattle to victory. The surprising SuperSonics lead the Western Conference's Northwest Division with a 5-1 record.