Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Vucevic keeps Magic on roll with victory at home

ORLANDO — Nik Vucevic had 21 points and 16 rebounds as the Magic beat the 76ers 105-94 Wednesday night to post back-to-back wins for the first time since early this month.

Glen Davis had 19 points, and Arron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo each added 18.

The game was the first meeting between rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Oladipo, and both played big roles.

The Magic led by 15 before fighting off several second-half surges by the 76ers, whom Orlando beat for 17th time in 20 meetings.

Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 26 points and Carter-Williams added 23. It was Young's first game in a week after missing three games while dealing with a death in his family.

The 76ers have lost two straight and six of their past seven.

The Magic saw what had been a 15-point first-half lead dwindle to a point early in the third quarter. The lead was 85-83 before Afflalo's three-point play gave Orlando a little breathing room with 6:49 to play in the game.

The 76ers kept coming before Afflalo struck again and turned a Philadelphia turnover into a layup that made it 93-87.

That was followed a few possessions later by a 3-pointer by Oladipo that put the Magic up 98-89 with three minutes remaining to end the threat.

Philadelphia got welcomed news shortly after their arrival in Orlando when Young rejoined the team during the morning shootaround.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said the plan going forward was to ease Young back into things slowly following his absence.

Young didn't start, but he entered the game for the first time at the 7:42 mark of the first quarter and immediately started to make an impact.

Despite the victory, the Magic continued to deal with injuries.

Point guard Jameer Nelson left the game in the second quarter and did not return after limping off with a sprained left foot.

Also, after making his season debut Sunday against Phoenix, Magic forward Tobias Harris sat out his second straight game with soreness in his left ankle.

Harris was supposed to make his first start of the season against Atlanta on Tuesday night, but he was scratched just before tip-off. The ankle has now kept him out of 14 of the Magic's 15 games this season.

Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said there was no update on Harris' status other than that the team would see how he responded to treatment.

It was 55-50 at halftime as the Magic, riding Vucevic's 17 points and 10 rebounds, dominated the first 21 minutes of the first half and built a 15-point lead. Vucevic went right at Philadelphia's Daniel Orton and hit his first eight shots of the night.

The lead nearly evaporated in the final three minutes of the half, though, as the 76ers closed with a 10-0 run that included eight points by Young.

James at home, this time mum on future

CLEVELAND — Unlike the last time he was a free agent, LeBron James won't discuss his future. He learned that lesson the hard way.

"Experience is the best teacher in life," said.

Home for the holiday and to play a game against his former team in front of fans he spurned, James spent 10 minutes outside Miami's locker room before Wednesday's matchup discussing his past. He talked about a possible cooling with Cleveland fans, hosting Thanksgiving dinner for his Heat teammates at his nearby mansion, his ever-expanding game and his desire to win another NBA title.

He was an open book. Except about his future.

After seven seasons with Cleveland, James left the Cavaliers three years ago for Miami. And with the possibility of the four-time MVP opting out of his contract and hitting the free agent market again next summer, there is already speculation about where he will play next.

What about in Cleveland, again?

"You guys know I'm not talking about free agency right now," he told a media throng. "My only concern is to hopefully win a third straight championship."

James' answer underscores his maturity since he played for the Cavs. In his final season with Cleveland, James frequently talked about where he might go. He now understands that was probably a mistake.

"I've grown each and every day," he said. "No book can really teach you about life. The best teacher of life is experience, and when you experience things, it's how you handle them the next time they come upon you, and I've been able to do that. Everything is in order. Everything is comfortable, and I'm in a good place right now."

Game highlights: C.J. Watson made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with 18 points to lead the Pacers to their fifth straight victory, a 99-74 win over the host Bobcats. The Pacers (14-1) came in with the league's best defense and limited the Bobcats to 31 percent shooting. Watson, who had made just 6 of 29 3-pointers this season, was 6-for-8 against the Bobcats. … Taj Gibson had a career-high 23 points as the Bulls pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the host Pistons 99-79. … Jerryd Bayless scored 22 and Mike Conley had 14 with nine assists to propel the Grizzlies to a 100-93 win over the host Celtics.

Around the league: James Harden missed his third straight game with a sore left foot when Houston hosted Atlanta. Jeremy Lin started in place of Harden, who is averaging 24.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Coach Kevin McHale said he doesn't expect Harden to be out for an extended period of time.

Magic 105, 76ers 94

PHILADELPHIA (94): Allen 3-8 0-0 6, Turner 7-14 2-2 17, Orton 4-6 0-0 8, Carter-Williams 9-21 2-2 23, Anderson 2-9 0-0 4, Young 9-15 6-11 26, Davies 1-2 1-2 3, Brown 0-4 0-0 0, Thompson 3-6 0-0 7. Totals 38-85 11-17 94.

ORLANDO (105): Afflalo 6-15 6-8 18, Davis 9-15 1-2 19, Vucevic 10-13 1-1 21, Nelson 1-5 0-0 3, Oladipo 7-11 3-4 18, Nicholson 5-7 0-0 11, Moore 2-8 2-2 7, Maxiell 0-0 1-2 1, Harkless 2-3 1-2 5, Lamb 0-2 0-0 0, Price 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 43-82 15-21 105.

Philadelphia 27 23 23 21— 94

Orlando 33 22 22 28— 105

3-Point GoalsPhiladelphia 7-22 (Carter-Williams 3-8, Young 2-3, Thompson 1-3, Turner 1-4, Anderson 0-4), Orlando 4-19 (Nicholson 1-2, Nelson 1-3, Moore 1-4, Oladipo 1-5, Price 0-1, Lamb 0-2, Afflalo 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsPhiladelphia 45 (Turner 11), Orlando 53 (Vucevic 16). AssistsPhiladelphia 22 (Turner 8), Orlando 22 (Vucevic, Oladipo 5). Total FoulsPhiladelphia 15, Orlando 16. TechnicalsPhiladelphia defensive three second. A15,839.

Pacers 99, Bobcats 74

INDIANA (99): George 6-15 2-3 15, West 3-9 5-8 11, Hibbert 4-14 6-7 14, G.Hill 2-10 2-2 7, Stephenson 5-10 5-7 15, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Scola 3-6 2-2 8, Watson 6-9 0-0 18, Copeland 0-3 0-0 0, Mahinmi 0-4 3-3 3, Sloan 2-2 0-0 5, S.Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Butler 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 32-84 25-32 99.

CHARLOTTE (74): Kidd-Gilchrist 2-4 1-1 5, McRoberts 2-4 0-4 4, Jefferson 7-15 2-4 16, Walker 3-17 7-7 15, Henderson 3-15 4-4 10, Taylor 2-7 0-0 4, Adrien 0-1 0-0 0, Zeller 2-7 3-4 7, Sessions 2-5 0-0 4, Tolliver 0-4 0-0 0, Biyombo 1-1 2-4 4, Pargo 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 26-83 19-28 74.

Indiana 22 21 17 39— 99

Charlotte 11 27 14 22— 74

3-Point GoalsIndiana 10-25 (Watson 6-7, Butler 1-1, Sloan 1-1, George 1-4, G.Hill 1-5, Johnson 0-1, Copeland 0-3, Stephenson 0-3), Charlotte 3-9 (Walker 2-4, Pargo 1-1, Taylor 0-1, McRoberts 0-1, Tolliver 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsIndiana 71 (Stephenson, Hibbert 10), Charlotte 54 (Jefferson 9). AssistsIndiana 20 (George, G.Hill 4), Charlotte 13 (Walker 3). Total FoulsIndiana 23, Charlotte 27. TechnicalsIndiana delay of game, Charlotte Coach Clifford, Charlotte delay of game. A15,170.

Bulls 99, Pistons 79

CHICAGO (99): Deng 11-17 4-4 27, Boozer 3-11 0-0 6, Noah 6-11 1-3 13, Hinrich 4-10 3-3 13, Snell 5-9 0-0 13, Gibson 11-13 1-2 23, Dunleavy 1-4 0-0 2, Teague 0-3 0-0 0, Mohammed 1-1 0-0 2, Murphy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 42-79 9-12 99.

DETROIT (79): Smith 6-12 0-4 13, Monroe 2-5 1-2 5, Drummond 5-10 0-2 10, Jennings 5-13 1-1 12, Caldwell-Pope 0-4 0-0 0, Singler 1-1 0-0 2, Stuckey 9-16 7-8 25, Harrellson 2-3 0-0 4, Bynum 1-7 0-0 2, Villanueva 0-1 0-0 0, Jerebko 1-3 0-0 2, Mitchell 0-0 0-2 0, Datome 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 34-77 9-19 79.

Chicago 25 26 25 23— 99

Detroit 29 24 15 11— 79

3-Point GoalsChicago 6-17 (Snell 3-5, Hinrich 2-7, Deng 1-2, Gibson 0-1, Dunleavy 0-2), Detroit 2-12 (Smith 1-4, Jennings 1-4, Villanueva 0-1, Harrellson 0-1, Stuckey 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsChicago 46 (Gibson 8), Detroit 47 (Drummond, Smith 11). AssistsChicago 24 (Hinrich 7), Detroit 12 (Jennings 4). Total FoulsChicago 15, Detroit 19. TechnicalsChicago defensive three second. A14,228.

Grizzlies 100, Celtics 93

MEMPHIS (100): Prince 4-10 1-2 9, Randolph 5-16 3-4 13, Koufos 3-11 1-2 7, Conley 6-14 2-2 14, Allen 5-8 2-2 12, Bayless 6-10 9-11 22, Davis 3-5 5-6 11, Calathes 1-1 2-2 4, Miller 3-5 0-0 8. Totals 36-80 25-31 100.

BOSTON (93): Green 9-19 7-8 26, Bass 2-6 2-2 6, Sullinger 10-18 1-1 23, Crawford 2-8 0-0 5, Bradley 7-13 0-0 16, Faverani 3-8 0-0 7, Wallace 1-5 0-2 2, Humphries 4-10 0-0 8, Pressey 0-1 0-0 0, Lee 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 38-89 10-13 93.

Memphis 27 22 20 31— 100

Boston 13 23 23 34— 93

3-Point GoalsMemphis 3-9 (Miller 2-3, Bayless 1-3, Conley 0-3), Boston 7-20 (Sullinger 2-3, Bradley 2-5, Faverani 1-2, Crawford 1-4, Green 1-5, Pressey 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMemphis 50 (Koufos 13), Boston 54 (Bass 13). AssistsMemphis 24 (Conley 9), Boston 14 (Crawford 7). Total FoulsMemphis 18, Boston 20. TechnicalsWallace. A17,319.

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