76ers fall in final seconds

February 1, 2008 7:47:10 PM PST
Hedo Turkoglu refuses to complain about being snubbed for an Eastern Conference All-Star berth.

Just winning is enough for now.

Turkoglu hit two free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining and finished with 23 points, and the Orlando Magic beat the Philadelphia 76ers 108-106 on Friday night for their third straight victory.

Turkoglu scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, the ninth time he has had at least 10. The eighth-year forward has a team-best 290 points in the final quarter.

"It's nice to be mentioned as an All-Star and I thank the coaches around the league for that," said Turkoglu, who has never appeared in the All-Star game in seven previous NBA seasons with San Antonio, Sacramento and Orlando. "If I keep playing well and keep staying aggressive, maybe I'll be an All-Star next year. I'm going to keep working. We're winning and that makes me happy."

Rashard Lewis added 18 points, Dwight Howard had 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Carlos Arroyo contributed 14 points for the Magic, who earned their NBA-best 18th road win while recording their fourth straight victory in Philadelphia. Detroit and Phoenix each have 17 road wins.

Maurice Evans scored 13 points and Keyon Dooling had 10 for Orlando, which improved to 30-18.

Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy seemed perplexed when asked about the team's stellar play on the road.

"I have absolutely no idea," Van Gundy said. "If I did, I would get this to happen every year. But we do show great toughness in games."

Andre Miller had 23 points and 11 assists, while Lou Williams added 20 points for the Sixers (18-29), who had their two-game winning streak snapped. Thaddeus Young contributed 15 points, Willie Green added 12 and Andre Iguodala had 11.

Orlando is one of the better teams in the league and they make a lot of shots," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "The screen-and-roll gave us a little trouble. ... Unfortunately, it came down to a play toward the end where they make two foul shots."

The Magic led 99-93 with 5:15 left, but the Sixers responded with a 9-2 run to take a 102-101 advantage on a 3-pointer by Williams.

Iguodala tied the game at 106 on a driving layup with 1:36 remaining. Orlando had one last offensive possession with 10.1 seconds left and Turkoglu was fouled by Iguodala.

"No way it wasn't a foul," Turkoglu said.

The Sixers could have sent the game into overtime, but Howard stole the ball from Samuel Dalembert in the low post and ran out the clock to preserve the win.

"That's something we've got to work on in practice, getting the last shot up," Cheeks said.

Orlando snapped an 84-all tie late in the third quarter to take an 87-84 advantage on a 3-pointer by Evans with 18 seconds remaining.

The first half featured 14 lead changes and 11 ties, with Philadelphia eventually pulling ahead, 60-59, at the break. Both teams shot well from the field, with Orlando hitting 54 percent and the 76ers connecting on 50 percent.

Williams led all scorers with 15 points in the first half.

Aaron McKie, who had been a volunteer assistant coach with the Sixers this season, was signed earlier Friday by the Los Angeles Lakers and then traded to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the deal for F Pau Gasol. A 13-year veteran with Portland, Detroit, Philadelphia and the Lakers, McKie is expected to be released by Memphis. Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski said McKie was signed for a "substantial amount of money." ... The Magic were forced to move their morning shootaround from the Wachovia Center to the Community College of Philadelphia because of Wing Bowl, an annual chicken wing-eating contest, which drew more than 20,000 spectators. ... Philadelphia F Jason Smith was inactive with a sprained left ankle.