2001 NBA Finals

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Evil spell

Magic fall to Bucks yet again, go down 0-2

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Posted: Wednesday April 25, 2001 10:46 PM
Updated: Thursday April 26, 2001 8:37 AM

  Jason Caffey, Michael Doleac Milwaukee's Jason Caffey is denied by Orlando's Michael Doleac as he tries to pass off during the second quarter. AP

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Ray Allen wouldn't be bullied by Andrew DeClercq or burned by Tracy McGrady.

Fired up by a flagrant foul from DeClercq, Allen scored a personal playoff-best 27 points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat Orlando 103-96 Wednesday night and took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five series.

In the fourth quarter, Allen slowed down McGrady after the Magic's 21-year-old star appeared primed to win the game by himself.

McGrady scored a career playoff-high 35 points, but just five in the fourth quarter as the Magic lost for the 11th consecutive time to Milwaukee.

"He was smoking," Allen said. "I had a chance to sit back and watch him, and he had a real good rhythm making jumpshots. He thought he was going to post me up a little bit more, and he had a little spin move. And I was right there in his pocket."

Sam Cassell added 26 points for the Bucks, who won consecutive playoff games for the first time since 1989, when they beat Atlanta two in a row en route to a 3-2 series win, the last time Milwaukee advanced past the first round.

Game 3 shifts to Orlando on Saturday night.

Magic at Bucks
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Ray Allen pours in a team-high 27, and backcourt mate Sam Cassell adds 26 to lift Milwaukee.Start
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The Magic tried to transform themselves from a finesse team to a physical one, and they sent the Bucks to the line 33 times. Allen was 11-of-13 from the foul line and Cassell made all nine of his free throws as the Bucks outscored Orlando 25-9 from the stripe.

The Magic immediately took heed to their head coach's challenge to be more physical as DeClercq picked up a flagrant foul for hammering Allen just 1:15 after tipoff.

Allen was assessed a technical foul by official Bob Delaney after jumping up and getting into DeClercq's face.

"I told him I wasn't going to let somebody throw me down to the floor, and I was going to defend myself. For that, he gave me a technical," Allen said. "It's a guy's right to foul you, but when he slams you on the floor, it's another story."

Magic head coach Doc Rivers chastised his players after Game 1 for failing to retaliate when Bucks forward Scott Williams hammered McGrady on his way to the basket for a flagrant foul.

SI's Marty Burns
MILWAUKEE -- They've tried double-teams. They've tried playing straight up. They've even tried gimmicks. The Magic just don't have an answer for Milwaukee's "Big Three."

Sam Cassell, Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson were more than enough to offset the heroics of Tracy McGrady in Game 2 Wednesday night. The Big Three combined for 67 points, and their ability to get in the paint at will against Orlando's mostly straight-up coverage produced more scoring opportunities -- and more easy offensive rebounds (a combined 41 in Games 1 & 2) -- for Milwaukee's big men.

With Magic point guard Darrell Armstrong ailing (sore groin), Orlando head coach Doc Rivers has even tried putting 6-foot-8 rookie Mike Miller on Cassell, the Bucks' explosive point guard.

Unfazed, Cassell scored 26 points in Game 2. "We've seen everything from them," Allen said after the game. Unfortunately for the Magic, nothing so far has worked. 

"Doc came out with something about an eye for an eye," Bucks head coach George Karl said. "But the truth is, both our teams are fairly finesse-oriented. But in the playoffs, it is intense and physical."

McGrady got some help this time, and not just from his teammates standing up for him.

Charles Outlaw scored 17 points, Mike Miller had 11, and Darrell Armstrong and Pat Garrity each added 10.

McGrady, however, only attempted three free throws despite taking 31 shots.

"How Tracy McGrady can shoot the ball 31 times and only go to the line three times is a farce," Rivers fumed. "I thought he got frustrated. He was getting hit on the arms, on the head. And they weren't calling it."

McGrady has gotten used to not getting the calls.

"I've been going through that all season," he said. "To hell with it!"

McGrady took a nearly seven-minute break spanning the third and fourth quarters and didn't enjoy the break.

"I don't like coming out of games when I'm on a roll," he said.

McGrady scored 20 consecutive points for the Magic in the first half, which ended with Orlando trailing 53-51.

The Bucks' "Big Three" -- Allen, Cassell and Glenn Robinson -- combined for 67 points, 19 more than they accumulated in Game 1 Sunday night.

The Bucks led 82-77 entering the fourth quarter and never lost the lead despite scoring just one point until Lindsey Hunter's 3-pointer over McGrady with 7:53 remaining made it 86-80.

Jason Caffey scored a career playoff-high 13 points for Milwaukee, and Ervin Johnson, shut out on the offensive end, had 13 rebounds.

The Bucks, who outrebounded Orlando by 17 in Game 1, had a 53-41 edge on the glass Wednesday night, including 10 from a surprising player -- Allen, who also led the Bucks with seven assists.

Allen scored 14 points in the first quarter, including the last five, as the Bucks built a 33-26 lead. The Bucks made it 37-28 and it looked as if they were going to run away with it early before McGrady took over.

McGrady capitalized on the bad back and sore shoulder of his good friend Tim Thomas, scoring four consecutive baskets on him and sinking two free throws after a Thomas foul to make it 37-36.

But McGracy fizzled in the fourth quarter as the Magic lost yet another game to their nemesis.

"They do have more guns, more experience than us," Rivers said. "But I do believe we will return to Milwaukee."

For a decisive Game 5, he meant, not next season.

Notes: In the first quarter, the Bucks had 18 rebounds, including seven offensive boards, and the Magic had six total. ... McGrady's 18 second-quarter points tied Anfernee Hardaway's team playoff record set against Miami in 1997. ... Orlando has lost nine of its past 10 games at the Bradley Center.

Related information
McGrady's efforts wasted as Magic fall to Bucks
SI's Marty Burns: The plot thickens
Game Summary: Magic-Bucks
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