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Harris helps Magic take advantage of Bucks

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO -- Tobias Harris wasn't good enough to play very much for the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this season.

He was just good enough to beat them Wednesday night.

Harris, who came to Orlando in a multi-player trade in February, led the Magic to a 113-103 overtime victory against those Bucks, who are struggling now with the playoffs approaching.

Harris had 30 points and 19 rebounds. He also hit the dramatic 3-point basket with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.

Although he missed a potential game-winning free throw and four-point play after being fouled on his 3-pointer, he got all the help he needed in overtime. He also finished overtime with a rub-it-in, breakaway dunk with :06 remaining after everyone else had stopped playing.

Teammate Nikola Vucevic had 30 points and 20 rebounds, providing a possible glimpse into Orlando's future. Vucevic was coming off a 21 point, 21-rebound game against Cleveland.

"It didn't really matter who this was against. I was going to battle until the end," Harris said. "I wanted them to know there was no way they were coming back. I didn't realize the score at the end. As a young player, I have never been in a game toward the end until this season. This is just a great opportunity for me."

The Magic (20-59) snapped a five game losing streak. They are battling Charlotte for the worst record in the NBA.

The Bucks (37-41) already have clinched the No. 8 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but they are struggling down the stretch. It was their seventh consecutive road loss.

Monta Ellis had 21 points and 11 assists to lead the Bucks, but he missed a pair of free throws near the end of regulation that also could have sealed a victory.

"We have to figure out a way to turn this around going into the playoffs," Ellis said. "It's not just closing games, but it's starting games. We have to start doing things better. Just too many mistakes."

Milwaukee rookie John Henson had 17 points, along with career highs in rebounds (25) and blocked shots (7).

The Bucks don't look like a playoff team. They led 93-88 in regulation with 52 seconds remaining, but they struggled in the final minute. Ellis missed two free throws and Mike Dunleavy was called for a five-second violation when he couldn't inbound the ball, giving life to the Magic. Veteran Marquis Daniels fouled Harris on his 3-point shot.

The Bucks also played poorly in overtime, making 3-of-13 shots. The Magic scored first in overtime and never trailed.

"We had the opportunity to win this game, but it just slipped away from us," said Milwaukee coach Jim Boylan. "We kept fighting. We just didn't execute the way we should."

Brandon Jennings, who scored 30 points in Tuesday night's loss in Miami, left after just six minutes Wednesday with a sore left Achilles. Jennings hit a 3-pointer to start the game, his only basket and the Bucks only lead until late in the third quarter.

Milwaukee center Larry Sanders played 15 minutes in the first half, but he didn't play after intermission because of a sore lower back, resulting from a hard fall in the second quarter.

Milwaukee already was without starting forward Ersan Ilyasova, who missed the game with the flu.

The Magic led 48-45 at halftime after leading by as many as 14 points early. The Magic dominated at the start, getting 10 points each from Vucevic and Harris in the first quarter.

Henson had nine points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in the first half. Vucevic had 14 points and nine rebounds by intermission.

The Bucks, who were beaten Tuesday in Miami, were awful at the start, getting outrebounded 18-9 in the first quarter.

NOTES: The combined performance by Harris and Vucevic marked the first time since the 1966-67 season that two NBA teammates each scored at least 30 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the same game. Willis Reed and Walt Bellemy did it for the Knicks on March 15 against Baltimore that season. ... Former Magic player J.J. Redick, who played in Orlando for 6 1/2 seasons before he was traded to the Bucks Feb. 21, returned to Orlando for the first time Wednesday. "It's great to be home," he said. The crowd gave Redick a standing ovation during a first-quarter time out when the Magic did a video tribute to him on the overhead scoreboard. Both teams stood and watched the tribune. "I just hope my legacy here is that I was someone who played hard all the time, worked hard and was a true professional," Redick said. He entered the game a minute later. Redick, who will become a free agent this summer, offered little insight where he would be playing next season. "I'll weigh everything. I won't assume anything. I just hope I get at least one offer," he said. ... Ilyasova, who played 21 minutes Tuesday as a starter, sat out Wednesday's game with the flu. He was replaced by Luc Mbah a Moute in the starting lineup. ... Magic point guard Jameer Nelson missed his sixth consecutive game Wednesday night because of a sprained right ankle. ... The Bucks have clinched the No. 8 playoff spot in the East, but it means a first-round matchup against Miami, which crushed them Tuesday without even using Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade.
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