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Lee helps Magic top Sixers, even series

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The Sports Network
4/22/2009 10:36:57 PM
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Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Courtney Lee was the catalyst for Orlando, as the rookie recorded a team-high 24 points to help the Magic even their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers with a 96-87 Game 2 victory.

The sharp-shooting duo of Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis struggled from the field, shooting a combined 7-for-24. But the pair managed to get to the free throw line with regularity and ended with 16 points apiece for the Southeast Division champs, who rebounded from a last-second 100-98 loss in Sunday's series opener.

Orlando outscored the Sixers at the foul line, 22-12.

A day after becoming the youngest player ever to win the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award, Dwight Howard battled foul trouble all game, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds before picking up his sixth foul late in the fourth.

Andre Miller paced the Sixers with 30 points and seven rebounds, while Thaddeus Young chipped in 20 points for Philly, which couldn't overcome 17 turnovers.

Andre Iguodala, whose fadeaway jumper just before the regulation buzzer proved to be the game-winner in Game 1, scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half. The swingman also grabbed eight rebounds and doled out seven assists in the loss.

Game 3 of the series is scheduled for Friday in Philadelphia.

Lou Williams' layup had the Sixers within 72-67 three minutes into the fourth, but after a much-needed timeout, the hosts settled down and scored nine of the next 11 points.

Lee had a jumper and a three-pointer on the run, while Anthony Johnson cleaned up his own miss for an 81-69 edge with under seven minutes to play.

The Sixers inched closer and were down 84-79 with three minutes left following Miller's three-pointer. Turkoglu then missed a baseline jumper, but Marcin Gortat, Howard's replacement after his sixth foul, came down with a huge offensive rebound.

Johnson made the extra possession count with a running bucket, and Lewis hit a fadeaway jumper after Williams' errant three for a nine-point Orlando lead with two minutes remaining.

Miller then missed another three and the Magic hit enough free throws down the stretch to knot the series.

Each club had an extended spurt in the first frame, which ended tied, 21-21.

Holding a two-point lead late in the second, the Magic scored seven straight -- five coming from Lee -- and wound up leading, 46-39, at halftime.

The Magic then came storming out of the locker room, hitting eight of their first 11 shots of the half. One of those misses was a Rafer Alston layup attempt, but Howard was in the right spot for a putback dunk, capping an 18-7 flurry that resulted in a 64-46 Magic lead.

Facing the same deficit they battled back from in Game 1, the visitors fought back with an 11-0 run that Miller ended with a turnaround jumper. It was 70-62 in favor of Orlando heading to the fourth.

Notes: Howard was also battling an apparent eye injury after being inadvertently poked in the eye by Sixers center Samuel Dalembert, who played just nine minutes after picking up two quick fouls in the first and third quarter... Alston and Johnson each had 11 points for Orlando, which shot 6-for-23 from behind the arc and 43.0 percent overall...Williams shot a mere 2-for-10 for four points for the Sixers, who made 46.7 percent from the field and 5-of-16 from downtown.

Courtney lee (Photo: Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
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