The Orlando Magic weren't nearly as dominant in 2010-11 as they were in the past two seasons, but their star center may have never been better.
Before MVP candidate Dwight Howard leads them into the playoffs, the Magic conclude their fourth straight season of 50-plus wins when they host the playoff-bound Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
Howard is averaging a career-high 23.0 points per game and his 14.1 rebounds a contest are his second-best mark, behind the 14.2 he averaged in 2007-08.
He returned from his second one-game suspension for accumulation of technical fouls and powered Orlando (51-30) past Philadelphia 95-85 on Monday. Howard had 19 points, 13 boards and a pair of highlight-reel dunks as the Magic won for the third time in four games.
Howard is second in the NBA in rebounding, pacing an Orlando team that's sixth with 43.1 a contest. The Magic held a 56-31 advantage on the glass against the 76ers and were up 25-2 on the boards at one point in the second quarter.
"It was good to see us rebound the ball as well as we did. The guys did a good job on the glass," Howard told NBA.com.
The Magic, who will be the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and will face Atlanta in the first round, finished with 59 wins in each of the last two seasons.
Ryan Anderson added 18 points and 14 rebounds Monday as the Magic overcame the absences of the injured Gilbert Arenas and J.J. Redick, and the suspended Quentin Richardson.
Redick will miss a 17th straight game Wednesday due to a lower abdominal strain but is "really close" to being able to practice. Arenas may sit out again due to a sore knee, but Richardson is expected to return after missing two games for shoving Charlotte's Gerald Henderson last week.
The Magic have won both meetings with the Pacers this season, taking the most recent one 111-96 on Jan. 26 behind Howard's 19 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Orlando has won four straight overall in the series and seven of eight home meetings, including five in a row.
The Pacers (37-44), headed toward a playoff matchup with top-seeded Chicago, had won four of five going into Sunday's game against New York. Indiana, though, fell 110-109 after allowing the Knicks to score the final nine points, culminating with Carmelo Anthony's jumper with 4.9 seconds remaining.
Anthony then blocked Danny Granger's last-second shot.
"We had the game, let it get away," said Granger, who scored 20 points. "I have no comments on the final play of the game."
Roy Hibbert added 19 points and 10 rebounds and Darren Collison scored 16.
If the Pacers lose to Orlando, they'll have the lowest win total for a playoff team since Atlanta qualified with 37 in 2007-08. Indiana is making its first postseason appearance since 2005-06.