ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Washington Wizards didn't like the idea of Dwight Howard getting two of his NBA-leading 60 double-doubles against them this season. They weren't crazy about all his dunks, either.
So, Washington keyed on Howard on Wednesday night, and it worked.
"Our big guys really took the challenge to make it difficult for him," Jamison said. "Not to get him bouncing around and dunking and Supermanning and all that stuff. We really wanted to prevent as many points in the paint as possible and have them beat us from outside."
It was Hedo Turkoglu's birthday, and the forward scored a career-high 39 points. He even had a chance to win the game: Turkoglu took an inbound pass with five seconds left, but his driving layup was short and officials didn't call a foul.
"It was kind of a tough angle for me," Turkoglu said. "I didn't want to settle for a jumper, because right before that they fouled me."
Howard sat much of the game in foul trouble, finishing with three points and 14 rebounds. The All-Star turned the ball over four times and shot 1-for-6, failing to score from the field until the fourth quarter. He had 10 rebounds before halftime, but picked up his fifth foul with about 9:30 left in the fourth.
"I was on the bench -- that was their defensive stop right there," Howard said. "People can beat up on me and nothing happens. But when I touch somebody I get calls."
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan credited 7-foot Brendan Haywood with shutting Howard down. Haywood finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
"We have Brendan, who can match him eye-to-eye, which is pretty rare in this league when you have a veteran center who can meet Dwight eye-to-eye and knows how to really play him," Jordan said.
Washington trailed most of the first half, but crept out of a seven-point deficit in the third quarter. The team took its first lead since the opening minutes on Jamison's 9-foot hook, and extended it to 57-52 on another of the All-Star's hooks 2 minutes later.
The Wizards kept it until 3:05 left in the fourth quarter, when Keith Bogans put Orlando ahead 81-80 with a 3-pointer. The teams stayed within three the rest of the way.
The Wizards gave Orlando a good chance to win after being called for a shot-clock violation on their last possession. With a one-point lead, Butler took the ball at the top of the key and waited as the clock ticked. When he finally made his move, Howard met him in the lane and swatted Butler's floater.
It set off a scramble for the ball, during which the clock ran out.
Orlando got two chances to inbound with nine seconds left. Turkoglu caught the first, but had the ball knocked out of bounds. The next time, with five seconds left, Turkoglu was swarmed by Washington defenders and threw up a prayer that didn't go.
"I thought we got it to him in a good spot, and I thought he was just going to get space, which he had, and raise up and shoot it," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "But he tried to be real aggressive and go to the basket, and just didn't get a good shot. It's disappointing, but I don't really second-guess going to him at the end. He was about the only guy that had anything going tonight."
The game was a possible playoff preview -- the teams would play each other in the first round if the season ended today. Orlando (45-25) has already wrapped up a playoff spot, but Washington (34-33) is in a 10-team heap vying for the final five remaining in the Eastern Conference. Boston and Detroit are also in the postseason for sure, but no Eastern Conference team besides Miami has been mathematically eliminated.
Gilbert Arenas watched in collared shirt and tie on the bench. He increased the intensity of workouts this week after an MRI showed his surgically repaired knee was healed, but still wasn't ready to play.
- Orlando missed 13 field goals in a row from the first quarter to the second, but still had a 28-22 lead when Keyon Dooling broke the streak with a running bank shot.
- Six of Washington's next seven games are on the road. The Wizards had played five straight at home.
- Washington is now 6-0 in Southeast Division road games.