ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — For three consecutive outings, the Orlando Magic won games by piling up incredible outside shooting performances that their opponents simply couldn’t match.
To win their fourth straight, they got big performances from Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu and put together a strong fourth-quarter effort to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 94-85 Friday night.
Howard had 26 points and 20 rebounds, and the Magic outscored the Bucks 22-11 in the fourth quarter. It was Howard’s seventh 20-point, 20-rebound game of the season.
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Guard Jason Richardson, who came into Friday’s game with 21 3-pointers over a five-game stint, was just 2 for 11 against the Bucks. But he said he reveled in watching Turkoglu close the game with 10 points in the final 12 minutes.
Turkoglu had 14 points and seven assists.
“That’s what great teams do, when somebody doesn’t have the greatest game they step up,” Richardson said. “We finally got some energy toward the end of the second quarter and found a way to gut it out and get the win.”
Ryan Anderson added 23 points, including four 3-pointers.
The Magic committed 17 turnovers, but just four in the fourth.
Howard was frustrated at times during the game, picking up a technical for arguing about a non-foul call and was responsible for a team delay of game tech for dribbling the ball to midcourt after an offensive foul called on him.
He left the locker room after the game without talking to reporters.
Carlos Delfino led the Bucks with 16 points and Ersan Ilyasova added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Leading-scorer Brandon Jennings continued to struggle from the field for the eighth straight game, this time going a dismal 4 for 20 and finishing with 14 points.
The Bucks started a stretch of eight games that includes six on the road with their fourth straight loss.
Orlando came into Friday shooting 45 percent from the 3-point line during their win streak. The Magic dipped to 31 percent (9 for 29) from beyond the arc against the Bucks and trailed most of the game.
The Bucks didn’t shoot well either (33 for 90), but started the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run to open up an 82-72 lead.
The Magic’s shots finally started to fall during a 14-3 run, capped by Turkoglu’s jumper to take an 86-85 lead — their first lead since early in the first quarter — with 4:50 to play.
“It’s a little frustrating to me that it has to get to that situation before we put out that kind of effort but at least we did it,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.
Milwaukee had six turnovers, scored three points over the last 9:47 and shot 4 for 20 from the field in the final period. The Bucks missed their final 11 shots.
“We were still competing at the end, we just didn’t make wise plays,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “You can’t just come down the floor and turn it over. We just had a bunch of plays that were difficult to overcome.”
The Bucks led 46-44 at halftime, but were up by 15 before the Magic ended the half on a 14-1 run.
Richardson said while he thinks the Magic have turned a corner, playing four games over a five night stretch beginning Sunday in Miami (part of a five-game road trip overall) will be a test for them.
“This whole month’s been tough,” Richardson said. “We’ve been playing every day or every other day. So it will be a tough road trip. But if we stay together, stay focused, keep battling to the end, then you can just look at the outcome. But I think we have to keep playing hard on the road.”
NOTES: Howard received his eighth technical of the season for arguing with an official late in the second quarter. … Bucks F Tobias Harris left the game with a right shoulder injury in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. … Milwaukee C Drew Gooden didn’t travel with the team, resting a sprained right wrist and sore knee. It was the second game he’s missed this season, having served a one-game suspension in December. … Magic F Glen Davis missed Friday’s game after attending his father’s funeral in Louisiana.