ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Orlando Magic still can't find a way to get started at home.
At least they were able to finish it Wednesday night.
Dwight Howard had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Magic beat New Jersey 100-84, avenging a one-point loss to the Nets at home a month ago. Orlando won despite digging itself into a double-digit first-quarter hole for the second straight game.
"We've just got to come out better," Howard said.
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.
The Magic are now 1-1 on a critical five-game homestand before the All-Star break. But the Southeast Division leaders have played better on the road (19-10) than at home (13-9).
"We're going to take these seven games we've got coming up -- five games before the All-Star break and two after it -- as playoff games," Howard said.
The Magic lost the first of them Monday to Dallas, and it wasn't even competitive.
This one started to look the same. 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 it 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.
"Brian, he can go on some runs," Van Gundy said. "He gets it going, that hoop must look like the Atlantic Ocean out there to him."
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.
After Turkoglu's 3-pointer, the Magic led 35-32 and never relinquished it. That was an improvement from a month ago, when the Nets entered the fourth quarter down 11 and pulled out a 96-95 win.
"We have to expect more out of ourselves in terms of playing all the way through the game, ahead or behind," Van Gundy said. "I was actually angry when they cut it to 13 with 2.5 minutes -- there was no reason for that. We relaxed on a couple possessions, and we've got to get that out of our minds."
Bostjan Nachbar scored 13 for New Jersey, while Richard Jefferson added 11 and Josh Boone had 10 points.
Last month when it beat Orlando, 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.
"We'll see what happens, but it is up to management," Kidd said of New Jersey's skid. "The big thing for us is to stay positive and keep working. We need to find a way, and if we can't, our season will come to an end early.
"The crazy thing about the East is that I think we started in the eighth spot tonight," Kidd added, "so we are right there. We still have a chance to make the playoffs."
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 outings 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.
Van Gundy was upset after Turkoglu apparently rolled an ankle stepping on a cameraman's foot. "Cameramen that were down there in the corner, if Turk can't play Friday don't come in here with a camera filming me," he said. The forward reacted at the time, but said later he was fine. ... Despite fan chants, Orlando G J.J. Redick didn't enter the game late in the fourth quarter. ... Orlando's Maurice Evans stole the ball from Carter at midcourt 1.8 seconds before halftime, then raced in a dunk just before the buzzer.
|New Jersey (20-29)||24||14||20||26||84|
|Orlando (32-19) «||22||25||28||25||100|
|NJ:V. Carter 18 Pts
NJ:J. Kidd 6 Reb
NJ:J. Kidd 7 Ast
|ORL:D. Howard 21 Pts
ORL:D. Howard 13 Reb
ORL:J. Nelson 8 Ast
|Players of the Game|
Jameer Nelson Magic Net Number Player T-Shirt - Black Shop Now!
|V. Carter, SG||40||6-14||4-5||4||3||4||18|
|J. Kidd, PG||36||5-11||1-1||6||7||2||13|
|R. Jefferson, SF||35||5-15||1-2||1||4||2||11|
|J. Boone, PF||34||4-4||2-2||6||1||5||10|
|S. Williams, PF||14||2-7||0-0||4||0||2||4|
|B. Nachbar, SF||26||6-15||0-0||4||2||1||13|
|A. Wright, SF||23||1-3||2-2||6||2||1||4|
|N. Krstic, C||14||1-5||1-2||6||1||4||3|
|D. Armstrong, PG||11||2-3||0-0||4||0||2||4|
|M. Allen, PF||7||1-2||2-2||1||0||1||4|
|M. Williams, PG||2||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|J. Magloire, C||Did Not Play|
|S. Swift, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|R. Lewis, SF||40||6-14||3-4||6||4||4||19|
|H. Turkoglu, SF||38||7-13||2-2||3||6||3||19|
|D. Howard, C||34||6-11||9-13||13||1||2||21|
|M. Evans, SF||26||3-6||0-0||3||1||1||6|
|C. Arroyo, PG||6||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|J. Nelson, PG||26||3-6||5-5||5||8||1||11|
|K. Bogans, SG||24||0-5||0-0||5||2||3||0|
|K. Dooling, PG||17||4-6||3-4||2||0||0||11|
|B. Cook, PF||17||4-8||0-0||2||0||2||11|
|A. Foyle, C||14||1-1||0-0||3||0||1||2|
|T. Battie, PF||Did Not Play|
|P. Garrity, SF||Did Not Play|
|M. Gortat, PF||Did Not Play|
|J. Augustine, PF||Did Not Play|
|J. Redick, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|