- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Vince Carter had 27 points and nine assists, and the New Jersey Nets ended Orlando’s bid for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the Magic 103-93 on Saturday night.

The Magic (58-22) may have lost more than the No. 2 seed. Star forward Hedo Turkoglu hurt his left ankle with 6:51 left in the game and he had to be helped to the locker room. There was no immediate word on his condition.

Keyon Dooling added 12 points and 10 assists for the Nets, who played without All-Star guard Devin Harris (shoulder). Rookie Brook Lopez added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who were eliminated from playoff contention earlier this week.

Turkoglu, who was going to get limited minutes in the last two games according to coach Stan Van Gundy, had 16 points before being hurt. Tony Battie and Mickael Pietrus added 14 points apiece, while Dwight Howard had an off night with seven points and eight rebounds as the Magic lost their second straight and third in four games.

Orlando came into the game needing to win its final three games and have Boston (60-19) lose its final three to get the second slot behind LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

However, Van Gundy noted that the chances of that were slim and he elected to give Rashard Lewis (17.7 points) the next two games off to rest tendinitis in his right knee.

Orlando stayed close for a quarter playing its fourth game in five nights, but the Nets pushed a four-point first-quarter lead to 10 at the half behind 11 points from Josh Boone. They increased the margin to 15 in the third quarter when Carter hit consecutive 3-pointers for a 73-58 lead.

Orlando hung around until midway through the fourth quarter, getting within 87-82 on a short jumper by Anthony Johnson with 7:37 to play.

Bobby Simmons then hit one of the Nets’ 11 3-pointers and Orlando never got close again.

Notes:@ Van Gundy said Lewis would also sit out Monday against Milwaukee, adding that Turkoglu and Howard would have their minutes cut in the final two games. …The first and second quarters ended with buzzer beaters. Carter hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first and Rafer Alston hit a jumper for the Magic just before the half. Alston finished with 13 points and eight assists.

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