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Magic’s Elfrid Payton improving his play down the stretch

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Here at the end of the season, Elfrid Payton is showing signs of getting it.

Payton, the point guard of the Orlando Magic, has strung four straight games together, including the team’s last two victories.

In those four games, Payton has 20, 14, 15 and 11 points. He also has 10, 7, 10 and 12 assists.

“I thought he did a nice job defensively,” Magic coach Scott Skiles said. “He was pushing the ball, like he has been the last three or four games. He got in the paint pretty much whenever he wanted to, and then when he got in there he made good decisions on whether to shoot it or give it to somebody else.”

The Magic now has 31 victories.

“I’m just trying to end the season on a good note,” Payton said. “My goal every year is to always get better each game and be playing my best ball at the end of the season.”

Orlando plays at Indiana Thursday night.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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