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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…

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Bucs’ rookie guard Ali Marpet is promoted to first team

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Rookie guard Ali Marpet is a first-teamer. Marpet was promoted before Thursday’s practice to right guard by the Tampa Bay Bucs, leading to hope that perhaps the team can rebuild its offensive line, after all. Marpet was a second-round draft pick, and being moved to the first time less than a week into camp is a good sign. “Just like we talk about Jameis or any of the young players, that’s a part of it,” said coach Lovie Smith. “For…

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