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Grizzlies put up fight, but Magic pulls away

Published Oct. 1, 2005

Magic coach Richie Adubato tried to get the attention of his players.

He reminded them Sunday that Vancouver had beaten them once and that the Grizzlies have been playing opponents close during a season-high losing streak.

So much for pregame motivational talks. The Magic learned the hard way before pulling away to a 100-89 victory that extended Vancouver's skid to 13 games.

"If you let them hang around, they're going to put a string together right near the end and beat you," Adubato said. "We built the lead, then relaxed. And when you relax in this league, you get burned."

Gerald Wilkins led a balanced attack with 17 points, Horace Grant and Rony Seikaly had 16 each and the Magic held the Grizzlies without a field goal for nearly seven minutes in the fourth quarter to pull away.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim led Vancouver with 22 points and seven rebounds. Bryant Reeves had 13 points and 10 rebounds, but the Grizzlies got only four points from their leading scorers in the last quarter.

Penny Hardaway had 14 points on just 3-of-11 shooting for Orlando, which is 12-3 and has climbed into the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference since Adubato replaced Brian Hill on Feb. 18.

"It seemed like everything was in slow motion," Hardaway said. "I hit the first jump shot and thought that was a good sign. But after that I really didn't do a lot."

For the second straight game, the Magic got an early boost from a replacement for the injured Nick Anderson. Wilkins had 11 of his 15 first-half points in the opening quarter.

Vancouver fell behind by 18 before finishing the half with an 18-7 run that made it 58-51 Magic. The Grizzlies stayed close in the third, getting 12 points from Abdur-Rahim to trail 80-76.

Orlando pulled away for good in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. Vancouver committed five turnovers and missed its first 10 shots.