Carter’s collision sparks Magic’s win over Bucks

By ANTONIO GONZALEZ

Associated Press Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Vince Carter took

a shoulder to the head by Ersan Ilyasova, hit the floor hard and rolled

up under the courtside seats grimacing in pain.

The arena fell silent. Fans sitting

in the area checked to see if they could help. Nearly everyone stood to

see how hurt the Orlando Magic’s star offseason acquisition was. About

3 minutes later, still shaken, Carter finally stood up.

Then so did the Magic.

Carter overcame the hard collision to

score 25 points, rallying the Magic for a 117-92 victory over the

Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

“I felt real dizzy, so I wanted to

just lay there for a second and let everything get back together,”

Carter said. “Next thing you know, everything was lined up correctly.”

Carter shook off the pain and never

exited, igniting a 17-2 run after the play late in the third quarter

that helped Orlando pull away.

Dwight Howard had 17 points and 10

rebounds, and Jason Williams added 16 points to help Orlando rebound

from its Christmas Day loss to Boston.

Brandon Jennings had 20 points, and

Andrew Bogut had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, who lost for

the seventh time in their last eight games.

“We let them get going a bit and the basket started looking like an ocean to some of their shooters,” Bogut said.

Carter’s big collision was the Magic spark.

Ilyasova was trying to take a charge

but was called for a block. Carter clutched the right side of his head

and neck, pulled his jersey over his head, lying on the ground four

rows from his mother in the stands.

“He gave me a scare,” his mother,

Michelle Carter-Scott, said as she exited the arena. “I kept thinking,

‘Get up, get up, get up.’ Thank God he did.”

Perhaps fired up that Carter never

left the game, the Magic scored 13 straight points during the run to

end the quarter with a 79-74 lead. Carter made two jumpers during that

stretch, and Matt Barnes hit a pair of 3-pointers – seven straight

Orlando made from beyond the arc – to help the Magic set a second-half

franchise record with 78.4 percent shooting from the floor.

“I actually thought Coach was going

to take me out,” Carter said. “I was sitting on one knee just trying to

gain my composure and I look and he said, ‘All right, Vince, you’re

going to take the ball out.’ I said, ‘All right, keep it going.'”

Lost in the frantic rally was

another poor outing by Magic starting point guard Jameer Nelson. He was

just 1 for 7 and hasn’t yet found his rhythm since returning from

arthroscopic left knee surgery.

Nelson said he was dealing with a

“family issue” the night before and has struggled with the limited

practice minutes trainers have him on for his rehab. It doesn’t help

that Williams has been playing well in his absence.

“I do think we’re going to have to evaluate where we’re at with Jameer,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.

The Bucks never recovered from the big second-half push.

Until the collision, they seemed to have the right formula.

Bogut was aggressive early and got

Howard in foul trouble in the first and second quarters. He took

advantage with Howard sidelined, helping the Bucks score 10 straight

points to take a 21-11 lead in the opening quarter.

Orlando was able to keep it close.

Carter’s one-handed layup with his

back to the basket over Bogut wowed the home crowd, but that would be

about the only highlight for the Magic in the half. Bogut and the

Bucks’ frontline twice disrupted alley-oop dunks by Howard, and they

held Orlando to 1-for-9 shooting from 3-point range to go ahead 49-41.

“We needed some more resistance out

of Andrew,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “We had trouble in the

painted area. We threw up a lot of shots in the painted area and we

just didn’t make them.”

NOTES: Thursday night was the

19-year anniversary of Skiles’ NBA-record 30 assists during the Magic’s

155-116 victory against Denver. Skiles, who spent five seasons with

Orlando, said there’s hardly a place he goes where people don’t ask

about that game. “No offense, but I’ll be glad the day it is (broken)

because I get kind of tired of talking about it some times,” Skiles

said. “It’s one of those things where it all came together in one

night. Yeah, it’ll be broken at some point.” … Some of the Bucks

staff attended the Champs Sports Bowl on Tuesday night, when Wisconsin

beat Miami 20-14.

Updated December 30, 2009