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Sports

Lewis Shines In Magic Opener

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 27, 2013 at 03:59 AM

ORLANDO - Rashard Lewis came out decidedly on top in a matchup of two frontcourt debuts. Yi Jianlian proved he could be dangerous with a little more experience.

Lewis, the former Seattle All-Star who landed a $118 million offseason payday, scored 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting to help the Orlando Magic beat the Milwaukee Bucks 102-83.

Yi, the No. 6 overall draft pick from China, had nine points in 25 minutes on 4-of-5 shooting. He sat several stretches after getting his third and fourth fouls, but showed the same impressive range that has made Lewis so valuable. Not bad for a guy that three months ago never looked like he'd play for Milwaukee.

'If I can control the fouls, I can play much better,' Yi said.

Lewis probably couldn't have. The 6-foot-10 forward scored from all over the floor, leading a Magic 3-point barrage that buried Milwaukee in the third quarter. As Orlando hoped, he stretched halfcourt sets to open up the paint for Dwight Howard, and vice versa.

'He obviously makes it easier for us, because he draws so much attention down low,' Lewis said. 'And when we're knocking down 3s, he's left with his man one-on-one.'

Orlando, one of the league's worst 3-point teams by attempts last season, shot better from 3-point range (54 percent) than from the field (44 percent). Besides Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu keyed the effort with 24 points on 3-for-5 shooting from behind the arc.

Milwaukee hit four of 17 from 3-point range and 38 percent from the field.

Yi's first NBA statistic was a steal, followed by a turnover a few seconds later. He responded the next play by blocking Turkoglu's layup, and the 7-footer scored his first NBA basket about 30 seconds after that on a 22-foot jumper.

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