Sixers top short-handed Magic 97-89

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - December 18, 2010

Elton Brand finished with 20 points to help Philadelphia to a relatively easy victory on a day the Magic made a pair of blockbuster moves to overhaul their roster.

The Magic had only eight players available after the two major trades. They acquired troubled guard Gilbert Arenas from the Washington Wizards, and Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson from the Phoenix Suns.

That left them with almost no help and no room for error against Philadelphia. The Magic managed to keep things close for a half until the Sixers pulled away with a strong second-half defensive push, handing the Magic their sixth loss in seven games.

The game was the first of eight straight on the road for the Sixers. Their grueling trip will cover some 9,300 miles, and they won't play another game in Philadelphia until Jan. 5.

Orlando even gave them a send-off gift by putting up little resistance.

After having the minimum amount of players available at tip-off, the Magic played the second half with only seven when backup point guard Jason Williams injured his left foot and did not return. The fatigue finally overwhelmed them, and the Sixers never stopped pushing the ball, either.

Dwight Howard had 26 points and 20 rebounds, and Brandon Bass had 18 points for the Magic. Orlando's recent struggles - coupled with rival Miami and Boston's surge atop the Eastern Conference standings - forced the Magic to make the only moves they could to revamp their roster.

Orlando sent forward Rashard Lewis to Washington, and Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat to Phoenix in a separate trade. The Magic also gave Phoenix their 2011 first-round draft pick and cash, and received Suns forward Earl Clark.

Philadelphia never took it easy on them.

The Sixers took full advantage by wearing down the Magic on an emotional day that left them without some longtime teammates. Philadelphia went ahead by 15 points in the fourth quarter and never looked back.

Notes: Arenas is expected to join the Magic on Sunday in Orlando. If he passes a physical in time, he could practice then with the team. The others were scheduled to join the Magic when they play at Atlanta on Monday night. ... Sixers G Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall draft pick, came off the bench after not playing at all Friday against the Lakers.

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