Magic back from break with 102-95 win over Wizards

JOSEPH WHITE AP Sports Writer Published:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ryan Anderson had 23 points and 15 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic pulled away late in the fourth quarter Wednesday night and returned from the All-Star break with a 102-95 win over the lineup-shuffling Washington Wizards.

Anderson scored 11 in the fourth quarter and led seven players in double figures for the Magic, who have won 11 of 15 and bounced back from a five-point loss to Atlanta that prompted a quick players-only meeting before the break.

Even so, the Magic blew a 17-point first-quarter lead against the lowly Wizards, committed 18 turnovers and survived an off-night from Dwight Howard, who was 4 for 9 from the field and 6 for 11 from the free-throw line, yet still finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Orlando made up for Howard's struggles by going to the long ball, making 15 of 36 3-point attempts.

The score was tied at 83 after Washington's Maurice Evans made a 3-pointer with 6:57 to play, but Jameer Nelson made a 3 to give Orlando the lead again. Then Jason Richardson made a steal to set up another 3-pointer, this time from Anderson, to put the Magic up by six.

John Wall had 33 points to the lead the Wizards, who lost their sixth straight despite rallying from a large deficit for the second straight night. They were down 22 at Milwaukee on Tuesday and lost by one.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman stuck with the lineup that helped spur that comeback, starting Jordan Crawford and Kevin Seraphin in place of JaVale McGee and Nick Young. It was Seraphin's first start of the season and second of his career, and it reinforced Wittman's message that he was no longer going to accept youth as a reason for undisciplined play.

Seraphin did a solid job guarding Howard, but it was Wall and Crawford who got the Wizards back in the game. Crawford had 14 points and four assists in the third quarter as Washington built a five-point lead, but an 11-0 run with 3-pointers from J.J. Redick, Anderson and Chris Duhon put the Magic back in front.

But Wall soon scored 10 straight Wizards points, then had the assist on Evans' 3-pointer that tied the game.

The Magic kept taking 3s, however, and made enough to pull out the win.

Notes: Washington F Andray Blatche, out since Jan. 28 with a strained left calf, hopes to return to practice Thursday and possibly play Saturday against Cleveland. "Even with all the bad things going on, I don't care about it. I just want to go back to playing, man," Blatche said before the game. "It's tough when you're sitting at home watching. Saturday will feel like Christmas to me. ... Hopefully I can get back to being Seven-Day 'Dray or something." ... Orlando reserve F Quentin Richardson sat out after straining his left Achilles tendon in the final game before the All-Star break. He'll also miss Thursday's game vs. Oklahoma City. "He's day-to-Saturday," quipped coach Stan Van Gundy. ... The Wizards' 21-for-21 performance at the free-throw line Tuesday set a franchise record for most attempts without a miss. They made their first five Wednesday before finally missing one.

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Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP