Howard leads Magic past Nets

Orlando 100, Nets 84
February 6, 2008 6:47:20 PM PST
Dwight Howard had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic avenged a one-point loss to the New Jersey Nets last month with a 100-84 win Wednesday night.Vince Carter led the Nets with 18 points, while Jason Kidd had 13 points and seven assists.

Six Magic players scored in double figures. Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis both scored 19, and Keyon Dooling, Brian Cook and Jameer Nelson each added 11.

For the second straight game, Orlando dug itself into a double-digit hole in the first quarter. The Nets took a 15-4 lead within six minutes, punctuated by a reverse alley-oop from Kidd to Carter, plus the foul shot.

At that point, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy put in his reserves, and Dooling and Cook led Orlando on an 18-7 run to tie things at 22. Cook had all 11 of his points in the run, including three 3-pointers, while Dooling scored seven on a 3-point play, two free throws and a jumper.

The Nets pushed the lead back to eight when the Magic failed to score the first 4:20 of the second quarter.

Orlando took it back, with emphasis, in the second quarter. Howard had back-to-back, backboard-shaking dunks, then Lewis dropped consecutive 3-pointers.

The Magic led 35-32 after a Turkoglu 3-pointer and never relinquished it.

Bostjan Nachbar scored 13 for New Jersey, Richard Jefferson added 11 and Josh Boone had 10 points.

A month earlier, the Nets surprised the Magic at Amway Arena by overcoming an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to win 96-95. At that point, New Jersey was on its third of an eventual five-game winning streak.

Now, the Nets have lost 13 of their last 16 games, and three straight by double digits.

Nelson was back in the rotation after sitting two games. He had missed five games with a right foot injury before that, but scored only four points in two games since.

Besides scoring 11, Nelson had eight assists and five rebounds in 26 minutes. Starting point guard Carlos Arroyo played only 5:35, going 0-2 with one turnover.

Orlando, which has played better on the road than at home, is now 1-1 in a five-game homestand entering the All-Star break.