Tracy McGrady poured in a career-high 49 points for Orlando but left his last shot short as the lowly Washington Wizards escaped with a 113-110 victory over the playoff bound Magic on Friday.
The All-Star swingman, who reached 40 points for the fifth time this season, scored Orlando’s last seven to pull the Magic within 112-110 with 34 seconds left.
Washington then turned over the ball, but McGrady’s potential game-tying jumper bounced off the front of the rim.
“I was a little fatigued at the end and I just missed the shot,” McGrady said. “They came out to play and made it difficult for me to get an open look.”
Washington’s Laron Profit hit a foul shot to make it a three-point lead and the Magic had one last chance to send the game into overtime. But McGrady drew the double-team and passed to Pat Garrity, who missed a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
“We got a three, I just didn’t make the shot,” Garrity said. “You can’t blame it on T-Mac,” he said of McGrady, “he’s the one who brought us back.”
Richard Hamilton scored 30 points and Christian Laettner added 26 and 10 rebounds for the Wizards.
In Toronto, Vince Carter scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and reached 5,000 career points in just his 204th game as he led the Raptors to a 94-82 victory over the Miami Heat.
Carter scored nine points during an 11-0 Toronto fourth-quarter run that put the game out of reach as the Raptors rolled to their ninth win in 11 games.
Antonio Davis chipped in 25 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who remained two games behind New York for fourth place in the East.
Anthony Carter came off the bench to score 17 on 8-of-11 shooting for the Heat, who saw their lead over New York for the third playoff seed in the East reduced to one game.
In Dallas, Michael Finley scored 31 points and Juwan Howard had 26 and 12 rebounds as the Mavericks nearly blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead but held on for a 101-97 victory over the Sacramento Kings to reach 50 wins for the first time 1987.
Dallas led 97-84 with 500 to go but went scoreless for nearly 4 1/2 minutes as the Kings closed within three.
Chris Webber and Peja Stojakovic both missed chances to tie the game in the final minute and Dallas’ Calvin Booth sank two free throws to seal the victory.
Webber had 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings, who saw their Pacific Division lead over the second-place Lakers shrink to just a half game.
In Phoenix, Jason Kidd came within one rebound of a triple-double with 30 points, 17 assists and nine boards to lead the Suns to a 109-100 win over the Seattle SuperSonics.
Kidd sparked fourth-quarter spurts of 11-2 and 7-0 as the surging Suns pulled away each time the Sonics got within striking distance.
Phoenix posted its seventh straight home win with its 11th victory in the last 14 games.
Rashard Lewis had 27 points and Patrick Ewing a season-high 21 for Seattle.
In New York, playing without three injured starters, the Knicks still managed a humiliating 36-point rout of the Atlanta Hawks.
With Marcus Camby, Allan Houston and Larry Johnson all sidelined, Latrell Sprewell scored 22 points and Othella Harrington added 18 and the Knicks allowed Atlanta no more than 17 points per quarter for a 101-65 triumph.
In Chicago, Karl Malone scored 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Utah to a 94-83 victory over the Bulls as the Jazz bounced back from a 22-point loss to Milwaukee a night earlier.
Utah (52-27) pulled within 1 1/2 games of the Los Angeles Lakers (54-26) for third place in the Western Conference.
In Denver, Robert Pack, playing in place of injured star Nick Van Exel, recorded the the first triple-double for the Nuggets in more than four years in a 108-92 thumping of the woeful Golden State Warriors.
George McCloud scored 24 points to lead six Nuggets in double figures, including Pack, who had 12 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
At Indiana, the Boston Celtics scored the last eight points of regulation to force overtime, but Travis Best and Austin Croshere hit clutch jumpers in the final 90 seconds to give the playoff-bound Pacers their sixth straight win, 113-108.
Reggie Miller led six Pacers in double figures with 29 points in a game that last week appeared to be a pivotal contest in the race for the final playoff berth in the East. But streaking Indiana clinched its postseason spot and eliminated Boston on Wednesday.
In Portland, Steve Francis scored 32 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 109 103 victory over the struggling Trail Blazers.
The loss dropped the Blazers, who were first in the West on March 4, a half game behind fifth place Dallas.
In Los Angeles, Eric Piatkowski scored 26 points and Michael Olowokandi grabbed 19 rebounds to lead the Clippers a 111-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
At New Jersey, Andre Miller scored 26 points and Lamond Murray added 22 to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 97-91 win over the banged-up Nets, who have eight players on the injured list and saw Johnny Newman leave the game with a knee injury.