MILWAUKEE (AP) - Even though Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic clinched a playoff berth with their effort on Wednesday night, the performance left a lot for them to ponder.
``We did about everything wrong we could do,' Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. ``Another game with 19 turnovers, we didn't make any free throws, we couldn't stop them. But we got out with a win.'
Howard had 31 points and 22 rebounds to lead the Magic to a 93-89 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks to wrap up a winning five-game road trip.
``The only thing that matters is we got a win,' Howard said. ``Are we satisfied with the way we won the game? No, but we won the game. That's all that matters.'
Orlando tried to give this one away in lots of different ways before Hedo Turkoglu came through in overtime with eight of his 19 points to salvage a victory even though the Bucks were missing center Andrew Bogut due to a migraine headache.
``We didn't imagine playing in overtime tonight,' Turkoglu said. ``They had a lot of movement and energy out there, but in the end we just knew how to execute better, made some big plays, hit some big shots and put the game away.'
The Magic went 20 of 35 from the free throw line, with Howard tying a career high with 24 attempts. He made only 13 of them. The misses, as well as two bad plays by Jameer Nelson down the stretch, nearly cost Orlando.
Brandon Jennings scored 23 points and John Salmons scored 20 of his 22 in the second half and overtime.
Orlando finished the trip 3-2 and saved one of its best rebounding efforts for the end, grabbing 10 offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter and overtime as Milwaukee lost rookie Larry Sanders and Jon Brockman due to foul trouble.
Turkoglu made a key jumper in the corner with a minute left, Earl Barron missed one and Nelson added a basket of his own to give Orlando a 91-87 lead with 24 seconds left.
Salmons answered with a layup, but Turkoglu made two free throws for the final margin.
``Turkoglu played huge for them in the overtime. He really didn't do too much during the game, but when overtime came, he knocked down a bunch of big shots for them,' Jennings said. ``We just couldn't convert.'
Orlando could've wrapped up the game in a back-and-forth fourth quarter, but missed seven free-throw attempts down the stretch. Ryan Anderson hit the first of two to put the Magic ahead 79-74 with 40 seconds left.
Keyon Dooling answered with two free throws and Nelson made another gaffe with 4.3 seconds left when he fouled Jennings behind the 3-point line.
``It was close,' Van Gundy said. ``We wanted to foul him only if he put it on the floor right on the dribble. He was a little late, so I thought it was close.'
Jennings sunk all three to tie the game and Jason Richardson's 29-footer at the buzzer clanked harmlessly off the side of the rim to send the game to overtime.
Howard said he felt good about his approach at the free-throw line, even though he missed so many and realized that the game should've been put away long before the extra period.
``I know for myself, everything was in and out or it looked good, it just didn't go in,' Howard said. ``Every time I step to the line, it felt good. But sometimes, the results are not the way we want them.'
The results have been against Milwaukee all season. The Bucks have been the worst-shooting, lowest-scoring team in the NBA and had appeared briefly to shake out of their season-long slump with a three-game winning streak.
But Milwaukee scored a franchise-low 56 points in a 31-point loss to Boston on Sunday and then fell 110-85 in Atlanta, shooting 37.1 percent over the two-game skid.
It looked like more of the same.
Milwaukee missed 14 straight shots and committed three turnovers over a 7 1/2-minute stretch as Orlando used a 17-1 run to take a lead that reached 14 in the first half and had the Magic looking relaxed.
At one point during a timeout, Orlando guard Chris Duhon joined in the fun with his own shimmy when the in-house entertainment asked fans to dance to ``Teach Me How to Dougie.'
Duhon's moves drew giggles at the end of the bench, but Salmons and Milwaukee started the second half hot as it turned out to be no laugher for Orlando. In the end, Milwaukee came up short again.
``It's not that we haven't moved the ball, it's that we're not getting anything from it,' Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. ``We've got to be really sharp with our execution and make good decisions. There has been too much tape where we have guys open and we're just not seeing them.'
Notes: Magic G J.J. Redick (lower abdominal strain) missed his fourth straight game. ... Van Gundy is keeping quiet about NBA Commissioner David Stern. When Van Gundy was asked if he'd learned any lessons from his back-and-forth with Stern, Van Gundy said: ``I'm not allowed to comment on that. I guess that's what I've learned.'
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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