"Just having Dwight out there makes everybody's job easier," Turkoglu said. "Charlotte spent so much time trying to control Dwight that it left a lot of openings for the rest of us."
Howard had 15 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks against Charlotte after averaging 33.5 points, 17.5 rebounds and four blocks in two previous games against the Bobcats this season.
Carlos Arroyo replaced the injured Jameer Nelson at point guard for Orlando and had 16 points and six assists. Rashard Lewis scored 18 points and Keith Bogans 12 as all five Magic starters reached double figures.
"Dwight's been getting 30-some points against (the Bobcats) every time we play them so they had to do something," Arroyo said. "They collapsed on him all night and fortunately we had enough guys hitting jumpers to make them pay."
Charlotte played zone most of the night, making it tough for the Magic to get passes to their 6-foot-11 center. When he did get the ball, he was surrounded or fouled. He made only five of 12 free throws, but his rebounding and defense against Emeka Okafor and Nazr Mohammed (eight points between them) more than made up for the missed scoring opportunities.
"I know it's not about points every night," Howard said. "It's about playing defense, blocking shots and controlling the paint at both ends. I have to do that for my team to win."
"We were looking for Emeka in the post all night," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "I'm not sure if it was Dwight doing a great job or us just being ineffective passing it to him, but we really need his inside scoring and we couldn't get it."
Orlando, which won at Miami in overtime on Friday night, struggled to pull away most of the game before finally breaking free in the middle of the fourth period. Turkoglu scored 10 points in the final 5:33, including eight straight when Orlando pushed its lead to 103-93 with 2:04 left.
The Bobcats, who have lost six straight at Orlando, stayed close until then behind the shooting of Richardson and Wallace.
Richardson had 22 points and Wallace 13 in the first half, when the Bobcats shot 51.4 percent against a lethargic Magic defense. Richardson hit seven of 12 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Wallace was 4-of-5 with one 3-pointer, but they didn't get much help.
The Magic were more balanced, with Turkoglu (15 points), Howard (11) and Arroyo (10) all reaching double figures, but all it got them was a 52-51 halftime lead. Orlando led by eight in the middle of the first period, but the inability to stop either Richardson or Wallace kept the Magic from building on that.
Orlando pushed the lead to 71-60 after a three-point play by Arroyo with 4:26 left in the third quarter, but again the Bobcats shot their way back into the game. A 3-pointer by Wallace cut the deficit to 77-72 at the end of the third period, and the Bobcats scored the first two baskets of the fourth to make it a 77-76.
|Hedo Turkoglu carries the Magic to victory with his season-high 28-point effort. (Getty Images)|
|Orlando (21-11) «||28||24||25||27||104|
|CHA:J. Richardson 34 Pts
CHA:E. Okafor 9 Reb
CHA:G. Wallace 7 Ast
|ORL:H. Turkoglu 28 Pts
ORL:D. Howard 21 Reb
ORL:C. Arroyo 6 Ast
|Players of the Game|
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|R. Felton, PG||43||5-11||3-5||0||6||2||13|
|G. Wallace, SF||42||8-15||4-5||7||7||4||23|
|J. Richardson, SG||40||11-21||8-8||8||3||1||34|
|J. McInnis, PG||32||1-6||1-2||2||3||3||3|
|E. Okafor, C||27||2-6||0-0||9||0||6||4|
|N. Mohammed, C||21||2-3||0-0||6||1||4||4|
|M. Carroll, SG||20||4-8||1-1||2||1||5||10|
|D. Anderson, SG||13||2-4||0-0||2||4||0||4|
|O. Harrington, PF||Did Not Play|
|S. May, PF||Did Not Play|
|R. Hollins, C||Did Not Play|
|A. Morrison, SF||Did Not Play|
|J. Davidson, PF||Did Not Play|
|J. Dudley, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|R. Lewis, SF||42||8-16||1-1||2||2||2||18|
|D. Howard, C||42||5-10||5-12||21||1||1||15|
|H. Turkoglu, SF||40||9-20||6-6||7||1||3||28|
|C. Arroyo, PG||40||6-14||4-5||4||6||3||16|
|K. Bogans, SG||37||4-9||3-4||5||0||1||12|
|K. Dooling, PG||15||1-4||4-5||1||1||4||6|
|M. Evans, SF||13||2-5||2-2||2||0||2||7|
|A. Foyle, C||6||1-1||0-0||0||1||1||2|
|J. Redick, SG||4||0-1||0-0||0||1||1||0|
|T. Battie, PF||Did Not Play|
|P. Garrity, SF||Did Not Play|
|J. Nelson, PG||Did Not Play|
|B. Cook, PF||Did Not Play|
|M. Gortat, PF||Did Not Play|
|J. Augustine, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|