The Orlando Magic haven't seen many magical moments since Shaquille O'Neal left them.
With Shaq back in Orlando Arena on Sunday, the Magic had one at his expense.The O-rena rang with jeers for Shaq and erupted in cheers for Nick Anderson, the Magic player most vocal about O'Neal's signing with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996. Anderson made a 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds remaining to cap a 30-point performance and give the Magic a 96-94 victory.
After hitting the clinching shot, Anderson strutted back up the court doing a fine imitation of the loosey-goosey duck walk made popular by O'Neal and San Francisco 49ers defensive back Merton Hanks.
But even after all the Magic have been through - inconsistency, infighting, the messy firing of coach Brian Hill, and on and on - Anderson wouldn't take any more verbal shots at O'Neal.
"I don't like getting into squabbles, saying things about Shaq," Anderson said. "Let him make his little comments about whatever. . . . As a team, this was a good victory. I'm more happy for the fans than anything. They were waiting for this day to come."
Anderson sparred verbally with O'Neal when the All-Star center fled Orlando a little more than a year after leading the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals. He resisted the temptation this time, even though O'Neal once accused Anderson of being a divisive force in Orlando.
"It was a very emotional game. It came down to those last two shots," O'Neal said. "They hit their shot. Our shot looked good, but it didn't quite go in. This is not going to make or break my season or my lifetime."
After Anderson's 3-pointer, Eddie Jones missed an open 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer for the Lakers.
A crowd of 17,238 booed virtually every time O'Neal touched the ball and cheered wildly each time he missed a shot and committed a foul en route to 20 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes.
It was actually O'Neal's second trip to the O-rena since his departure, but he did not play in the Lakers' only appearance here last season because of a knee injury.
O'Neal's final point, a free throw with 35.6 seconds left, tied the game for the last time, 93-93. Kobe Bryant made one of two at foul line for a one-point Lakers lead with 12.9 seconds to go.
The victory was the fourth straight for Orlando.
KNICKS 92, ROCKETS 74: John Starks scored 13 of his 24 points in a burst at the start of the fourth quarter to carry the Knicks to victory in New York. It was the sixth victory in seven games since the All-Star break for the Knicks.
Clyde Drexler scored 16 points for the Rockets.
PACERS 97, 76ERS 92: Reggie Miller scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half and hit a key 3-pointer with two minutes left as Indiana beat Philadelphia for the second time in four days and ninth time in a row.
Allen Iverson, coming off a 27-point night in Philadelphia's win over New Jersey on Saturday, scored 23 of his 33 points in the second half.
BUCKS 79, CAVALIERS 71: Glenn Robinson scored 29 points and Ray Allen scored eight of his 20 in the fourth quarter as Milwaukee won at home against Cleveland.
Shawn Kemp had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, but it wasn't enough as the Cavaliers lost for the seventh time in nine games.
TIMBERWOLVES 113, KINGS 95: Anthony Peeler scored 16 points in his first game for host Minnesota, helping the Timberwolves defeat Sac-ra-mento.
RAPTORS 113, GRIZZLIES 105: Newcomer Chauncey Billups scored a career-high 27 points, including 10 in overtime, as Toronto beat visiting Vancouver to snap a six-game losing streak.
Billups, traded to the Raptors by the Boston Celtics last week, was 5-of-13 from the field, 4-of-7 from 3-point range and 13-of-16 from the foul line.
HEAT 90, WARRIORS 82: P.J. Brown had 20 points and 14 rebounds as Miami overcame a 16-point third-quarter deficit for its seventh straight road victory. Tim Hardaway had 24 points and 10 assists for Miami.
SUPERSONICS 88, NUGGETS 68: Greg Anthony had a season-high 15 points, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, as host Seattle handed the Nuggets their seventh straight loss.
SUNS 97, SPURS 79: Danny Manning and Dennis Scott came off the bench to spark a big fourth quarter for host Phoenix, which won its season-best fifth straight. Manning had nine of his team-high 17 points in the final period and Scott hit two 3-pointers.
TRAIL BLAZERS 121, CELTICS 96: Arvydas Sabonis had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as the Trail Blazers ruined Kenny Anderson's return to Portland.
The Blazers outscored the road-weary Celtics 24-16 in the second period and led by as many as 19 points in the quarter before blowing out the Celtics in the second half.