The Magic has found another ally in its bid to peak for the playoffs: a killer instinct.
Penny Hardaway scored 30 points, the Magic took the lead for good in the first minute and went on to beat the Sacramento Kings 114-103 Tuesday night for its eighth victory in nine games.
Rony Seikaly had 26 points and 14 rebounds for Orlando, which built a big early lead and wasn't seriously threatened in the last three quarters.
Mitch Richmond led Sacramento, which has lost nine of its past 10 to fall out of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference, with 34 points.
Sacramento trailed 30-15 after one quarter and couldn't get closer than eight the rest of the way.
"It really showed some maturity on our part in regard to understanding the importance of coming out and and getting off to a good start," Magic coach Richie Adubato said. "You know the peaks and valleys in this league. It's awful important to get that lead at home, then you can protect it."
Hardaway was 10-for-19 from the field and had seven assists. Richmond was 11-for-19, including 7-of-11 from three-point range.
The Kings got 15 points from reserve Corliss Williamson.
Sacramento missed nine of its first 10 shots. Richmond made a pair of three-pointers to lead a surge that trimmed the deficit to eight before Orlando pulled away again to lead 62-45 at the half.
Seikaly was the catalyst early, scoring nine of his 13 first-half points in the opening quarter.