x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Magic turn up the heat in overtime

The Orlando Magic squander a big lead against Charlotte but scored the first 11 points of overtime to beat the scrappy Bobcats 106-95.

The Orlando Magic squandered a big lead against Charlotte on Saturday but scored the first 11 points of overtime to beat the scrappy Bobcats 106-95. Jameer Nelson collected six of his 21 points in overtime and Rashard Lewis had five to end Charlotte's franchise-record home winning streak at nine games. Despite the frustration of seeing his side making things difficult for themselves, the Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said there was a lot they could take from having to go all the way before coming out on top. "I would have rather closed it out in the fourth quarter and finished better than we did," he said. "But in retrospect, now after the game, that was a great game for us to have. We hadn't been to overtime all year. We sort of got a second chance."

Vince Carter also had 21 points for Orlando and Dwight Howard pulled in 20 rebounds as the Magic narrowed Atlanta's Southeast division lead to percentage points. DJ Augustin scored 22 points, including five three-pointers, to help spark a furious Charlotte rally, after being behind by 12 points with 11 minutes to play, that forced the overtime. Elsewhere in the NBA, Daniel Gibson was an unlikely hero for the Cleveland Cavaliers, nailing a three-pointer with 8.7 seconds left to lift his team to a 100-99 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Gibson, who finished with 13 points, was in the starting line-up for the first time since December 2007 because of injuries to point guards Mo Williams and Delonte West. The Cavaliers' LeBron James scored 37 points with 12 assists and nine rebounds. Shaquille O'Neal added a season-high 22 points as the Cavaliers won their fourth consecutive game. The Thunder's Kevin Durant had a chance to tie the game, but his shot with nine-tenths of a second remaining was blocked by James.

* With agencies