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Hardaway, Magic Turn Up the Heat

May 02, 1997|From Associated Press

The playoff resurrection of the Orlando Magic can be summed up in two words: Penny Hardaway.

The all-star guard scored 41 points and Orlando evened its first-round series with Miami at two games apiece Thursday night with a 99-91 victory over the Heat at Orlando, Fla.

The Magic, blown out in the first two games of the best-of-five matchup on the road, will return to Miami Arena for the decisive game Sunday. The winner will advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Knicks.

"It's very gratifying to me because of the way we lost the first two. The determination of our players is what's done it," Orlando Coach Richie Adubato said.

Hardaway, who played the entire game, was 12 for 23 from the field and had seven rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots after scoring a playoff career-high 42 to help Orlando stave off elimination in Game 3 on Tuesday night.

"We make Penny look like the second coming of Michael Jordan," Miami forward P.J. Brown said.

Derek Strong had 15 points and Darrell Armstrong contributed 12 points and nine rebounds in a career-high 40 minutes for the Magic--without injured starters Horace Grant and Rony Seikaly.

Hardaway scored 18 of his team's 27 points in the first quarter and had four more in a 15-2 run that put Orlando up 42-27 midway through the second period.

Seattle 122, Phoenix 115--The SuperSonics survived an amazing, game-tying three-point basket by Rex Chapman with 1.9 seconds left in regulation and stayed alive by defeating the Suns in overtime at Phoenix.

Detlef Schrempf and Hersey Hawkins made three-point baskets in the extra period, and Shawn Kemp made two free throws to seal the victory in overtime.

Game 5 will be Saturday at Seattle.

The Suns rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation, and got their chance to go for the tying three-pointer when Schrempf missed the second of two free throws with 5.4 seconds left.

Chapman made an over-the-shoulder, running grab of a crosscourt inbound pass from Jason Kidd and heaved a high-arching, 25-footer that swished through to tie the score, 107-107.

Kidd sank a three-pointer 1:05 into overtime for a 110-107 lead.

But Seattle battled back, drawing even on Schrempf's three-point basket and going ahead, 112-110, when he made two free throws with 2:54 to go.

Gary Payton, who finished with 28 points and 14 assists, made a layup at the 1:52 mark, and then Hawkins a three-point shot with 45 seconds left.

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