Magic spell makes Bullets vanish, 105-88 Catledge's 24 points pace undefeated Orlando


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Terry Catledge had season highs of 24 points and 14 rebounds last night to lead the unbeaten Orlando Magic to a 105-88 victory over the Washington Bullets.

The Magic's 3-0 start, best in the history of the third-year expansion franchise, has Orlando alone atop the NBA's Atlantic Division. The Philadelphia 76ers knocked the New Jersey Nets from the unbeaten ranks, 107-105, last night.

The loss drops Washington, which had started 2-0, to 2-2.

Catledge, a former Bullet who came to Orlando in 1989, hit eight of 13 field-goal attempts and eight of 10 free throws. Half his rebounds were on offense.

Michael Adams led the Bullets with 23 points. Harvey Grant and Pervis Ellison added 15 each, and Ledell Eackles had 13.

Five Magic players joined Catledge in double figures: Dennis Scott (19), Nick Anderson (19), Jerry Reynolds (12), Scott Skiles (12) and Greg Kite (10).

The Bullets worked their way into the Magic's record book in the third quarter by scoring just 13 points.

Several times Orlando's third-year expansion franchise has allowed only 14 points in a quarter -- most recently against the Dallas Mavericks on March 27. Each time it happened in the third quarter.

The Bullets shot 24 percent (5-for-21) from the field and hit three of four free throws in the third quarter last night. Orlando has outscored its opponents, 108-63, in third quarters this season, including 47-31 against the Sixers at The Spectrum on Saturday night. Orlando got an emotional boost from the return of center Greg Kite, who missed the Philadelphia game to attend his father's funeral in Houston on Tuesday.

Kite returned to Orlando yesterday. His back-to-back dunks highlighted the Magic's historic third quarter. Kite, never feared for his offense, got his second dunk at 4:00 to give Orlando a 77-58 lead.

Kite's absence on Saturday ended a franchise record of 83 consecutive starts, but he returned to finish with 10 points and five rebounds.

Catledge and Anderson led Orlando to a 26-18 first-quarter advantage.

Anderson, who entered the game shooting 75 percent from the field, hit four of five field-goal attempts in the period, including a three-pointer.

Anderson, who checked out of the game early in the second period to a rounding ovation, also had four rebounds and an assist before taking a breather with 8:47 left in the half with the Magic leading, 33-18. He also blocked two shots.

Catledge, who entered the contest averaging 12 points and 8.5 rebounds, had 19 points and nine boards at halftime.

Adams paced the Bullets with a game-high 19 points in the first half, hitting five of 11 from the field and all six of his free throws.

But the Bullets shot 34.9 percent in the half -- compared with 52.5 for the Magic -- and trailed, 54-47, at halftime.

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