Howard, Orlando just one win away from final

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Howard, Orlando just one win away from final
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Mayıs 28, 2009 00:00

ORLANDO - Dwight Howard scored 10 points in overtime to lead a sharp-shooting Orlando to a 116-114 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, giving the Magic a surprise 3-1 lead in the NBA Eastern Conference finals series.

The Magic had to overcome 44 points and a last-second shot by Cleveland star LeBron James to notch the win that puts it within a game of the NBA finals. Game 5 is in Cleveland on Thursday.

Howard finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 7 of 9 free throws for the Magic, who made a team record 17 three-pointers - 11 after halftime.

"I had to get myself going," Howard said of his overtime effort, which included three dunks, a tip-in and two free throws. "My teammates found me in the right place to score and I kept scoring. "I hate losing, especially on my home floor. We kept fighting for the win."

Orlando's Rafer Alston added 26 points and Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus had 17 each, while Turkish forward Hidayet "Hedo" Türkoğlu had 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Magic.

James was spectacular again, adding 12 rebounds and seven assists, but he had eight turnovers for the Cavs, whose season is slipping away. A Lewis free throw with 3.2 seconds left gave the Magic the 116-114 lead, and the Cavaliers one last chance.

League MVP James, who saved the Cavaliers with a three-pointer on the buzzer in Game 2, was double-teamed on the inbounds pass but still managed to get free. He got the ball, dribbled into the frontcourt and rose from 35 feet for his shot, which fell short.

James, who played the entire second half OT, has scored more than 40 in three games in the series. "He didn't look tired. He just nearly hit a 50-footer from halfcourt," Howard said of James, exaggerating the distance. "I love playing against him."

Cleveland's Mo Williams scored 18 points, none after the third quarter. Delonte West added 17 and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 12.

History is on the Magic's side heading into Game 5. Teams with a 3-1 lead are a staggering 182-8 in series dating back to 1947.

Howard picked up his sixth technical foul for taunting an opponent in the fourth quarter. A seventh technical would earn him an automatic 1-game suspension in the playoffs.
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