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McGrady's 51 can't beat Denver's powerful point guards

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Denver, CO (Sports Network) - and each posted 27 points to overcome a spectacular performance by , as the topped the , 106-101, at the Pepsi Center. McGrady poured in a season-high 51 points on 20-of-30 shooting to go along with six rebounds and five assists. He also knocked down 8-of-11 shots from behind the three-point arc in the loss.

Prized rookie contributed 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, but shot just 6-of-23 from the field, and had only six points, but hauled down 11 boards and blocked six shots. Nene added 14 points and six rebounds, as the won their second straight game.

Denver snapped a 12-game losing streak against Orlando, and a six-game home losing streak to the .

Tyronne Lue had 13 points and seven assists, and Orlando's losing streak reached eight games, its longest since an eight-game skid from January 7-20, 2000.

Tied 76-76 going into the final quarter, the teams stayed close until Denver led 86-85 with 6:22 to play. The then went on an 8-2 run to open up their biggest lead to that point at seven.

McGrady hit a three to draw to within four points with 4:44 remaining, but the opened it up to 99-90 on three free throws and a Boykins bucket with two minutes to go.

But McGrady wouldn't go away, and connected on a three-pointer and made a traditional three-point play on back-to-back possessions, drawing his team to 102-99 with less than a minute to go.

After a Boykins miss, McGrady had the opportunity to tie the game with a three-pointer, but his shot clanged off the rim. Boykins scored with 15 seconds to go, then hit from the field, and Miller drained two free throws to bring about the final score.

Orlando opened the contest on a 10-2 run, and even though Nene later cut the lead to two with a free throw, the closed out the first on a 13-5 run to lead 24-15 after 12 minutes.

The tempo increased dramatically in the second period, as both teams scored 35 points in the frame. Denver had the Orlando lead as low as three at 49-46 on a pair of free throws by Nene with 2:04 to go, but Lue scored five points in a 10-4 run to close out the half, and the led 59-50.

The crept back into the game in the third quarter, taking their first lead at 71-69 on a pair of Anthony free throws with 2:23 left. The teams exited the third stanza tied at 76 apiece when Stephen Hunter hit 1-of-2 free throws with 11 seconds to go.

McGrady's previous season-high was 36 points, set in a 107-97 loss to Memphis Wednesday. McGrady strained a tendon in his right foot in that game, but he was obviously unaffected. Howard led the with 13 rebounds.

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