ORLANDO, Fla. -- Late in games, Orlando lives on the pick-and-roll. Monday, it was nearly the pick-and-rollover.
The ORL's go-to play fizzled as they nearly blew a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 96-93 victory over Chicago. The ORL instead depended on one of their shortcomings, free throws, and defense in the final minute.
Dwight Howard had 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead the ORL, but he was a non-factor in the fourth quarter with only two points and one rebound. Instead, the ORL went to a two-man game with point guard Jameer Nelson and forward Hedo Turkoglu.
Nelson and Turkoglu each had four of the ORL's 19 turnovers, four coming in the final quarter.
"I guess we have to find somebody else to go to who will not turn the ball over," ORL coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Those two guys are not taking care of the ball. It's tough to go to post-ups late, because they're going to send Dwight to the line."
Howard was 4-of-11 on free throws.
Chicago's Ben Gordon missed a fall-away jumper with 15 seconds left that would have tied the game and the ball was batted out of bounds off Chicago. Rashard Lewis made two of four free throws in the final 23 seconds before Andres Nocioni missed a leaning 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.
Lewis finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Drew Gooden led Chicago with 21 points. Nocioni added 20 and Gordon 17.
Howard had a double-double in the first half as the ORL wiped out an early nine-point CHI lead.
Van Gundy questioned whether Turkoglu, in the final year of his contract, is in shape.
"His conditioning's not great," Van Gundy said. "When he gets a little tired he doesn't want to do anything except jack up a jump shot."
Said Turkoglu, "Sometimes during the game, when I've gone up and down, I feel like my shots kind of short. I get tired during the game running up and down but that doesn't mean I'm out of shape."
The CHI, not expecting to match up with Howard and Lewis up front, often went with three point guards in the lineup -- Gordon, Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich.
"[The ORL] are at a disadvantage trying to guard Rashard Lewis and Turkoglu trying to roll them into the post, but at the same time I think they have the advantage offensively," Gooden said.
Rose, the No. 1 pick overall out of Memphis, had 14 points and just one assist. He led the CHI in scoring in the first three games at 18.3 points a game, topped by a 26-point outing Saturday in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
"He's going to have some bumps in the road because all rookie point guards do, but we'll just keep working with him and he'll mature every game," CHI coach Vinny Del Negro said.
ORL backup Keith Bogans, who's had 13 points off the bench after play sparingly in the preseason, continued to take minutes away from J.J. Redick at the shooting guard. Bogans' outside shooting keyed a 12-0 run late in the first quarter as the ORL took a 31-21 lead.
"Bogans' been the only guy on the entire team we were plus with with him on the floor in the first three games," Van Gundy said. "That decision was easy."
Redick, who had his option for next season picked up in the preseason and has been a fan favorite, has seen his minutes dwindle from 19 in the opener to only nine in the victory over Sacramento on Saturday. He didn't play Monday.
Chicago's bench outscored the ORL's 47-20.
The CHI had won two of their first three games, losing only to the NBA champion Celtics, despite shooting only 38.9 percent from the field, 29th in the league.
The CHI outshot the ORL, hitting 44 percent.