Toronto at Orlando

Howard sparks game-clinching run in Magic's first playoff win since '03

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dwight Howard was in high school the last time the Orlando Magic won a playoff game. On Sunday afternoon, he made sure Orlando didn't have to wait any longer.

Howard had 25 points and 22 rebounds and blocked five shots, and the Magic defeated the Toronto Raptors 114-100 in the opener of their first-round series. Jameer Nelson added 24 points for Orlando.

"It felt real good -- it was an amazing feeling for me," Howard said. "Actually, I almost got some tears."

Howard scored six consecutive points in a 10-0 fourth-quarter run that sealed Orlando's first playoff victory since 2003. He also blocked five shots and made 9 of 11 free throws.

Anthony Parker had 24 points and eight rebounds for Toronto, Chris Bosh scored 21 and Rasho Nesterovic had 16 points and eight rebounds. Jason Kapono scored 18 off the bench.

The Raptors, who trailed by 20 points after the first quarter, drew within five with 10:24 left in the fourth on two quick 3-pointers by Kapono and a Parker jumper. But Toronto went scoreless for the next 3:16 as Orlando pulled away.

"It is tough digging yourself a hole like that," Parker said. "Every time we did make a run, they made a play and put it back around 10 or 12. We just never got over that hump, and I believe if we had it would've been a tough ballgame for them. The first quarter was the difference."

The Magic held Bosh mostly in check. Smothered by Rashard Lewis inside the paint and out, the All-Star power forward started 1-for-6 from the field and scored 13 of his 21 points from the free throw line (13-for-13). Bosh picked up four fouls in the third quarter -- including two within 20 seconds during tussles with Howard -- and played limited minutes in the fourth.

"(Lewis) fronted me the whole game," Bosh said. "He was up in my space. I should have done a better job expecting that. He did a good job; I'll be ready for it in game two."

Lewis, who is known more for scoring than defense, said it took all he had to keep up with Bosh. The Magic forward scored 10 in the first quarter and only three points the rest of the way.

"I just tried my best to keep the ball out of his hands, and when he did get the ball, try to take away his airspace and clog him as much as possible," Lewis said.

All five Orlando starters scored in double figures. Hedo Turkoglu scored 21, Maurice Evans had 14 and Lewis added 13. Reserve Keyon Dooling scored 10, and Nelson had seven assists.

Orlando looked unbeatable at the start, hitting its first seven shots and going 9-for-11 on 3-pointers in the first quarter. Evans scored 11 in the period as Orlando opened a 43-23 lead.

The 43 points were third highest in a first quarter for the playoffs, and Orlando's nine 3-pointers tied Boston's record for most in a playoff quarter. Howard blocked three shots in the period and altered several others.

"The thing we have to try to do a better job of is keeping (Howard) off the glass," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "It's easy for me to sit here and say it, but I don't have to do it."

The Magic shot 53 percent in the game, including 13-for-29 from 3-point range, compared with 38 percent and 9-for-20 for Toronto.

Howard had eight games in the regular season with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. He had seven points and nine rebounds at halftime, but turned it up in the second half when Orlando's torrid shooting pace dipped.

"He obviously came to play tonight," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Now I think the lesson for our guys is it's one game. In the playoffs you've got to rise to the occasion in each series at least four times, and really more than that, because sometimes you can rise to the occasion and still get beat."

Notes

  • Howard had an NBA-leading 69 double-doubles during the regular season.
  • Game 2 will be Tuesday.
  • The Magic turned the arena white and blue by giving fans T-shirts. It was the first time Orlando hosted a playoff series opener since 1999.
  • Masters champion Trevor Immelman watched from courtside.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Dwight Howard is dominant once again with 25 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks.  (Getty Images)
Dwight Howard is dominant once again with 25 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Toronto (0-1) 23242825100
Orlando (1-0) «43172529114
TOR:A. Parker 24 Pts
TOR:R. Nesterovic 8 Reb
TOR:J. Calderon 8 Ast
ORL:D. Howard 25 Pts
ORL:D. Howard 22 Reb
ORL:J. Nelson 7 Ast
Players of the Game
OrlandoToronto

D. Howard

A. Parker
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
252222474
Toronto
A. Parker, SG397-147-874224
C. Bosh, PF374-1113-1362421
R. Nesterovic, C358-150-082316
A. Bargnani, PF282-80-03035
T. Ford, PG221-93-32615
J. Kapono, SF306-92-210218
J. Calderon, PG253-112-24839
C. Delfino, SG141-50-03202
J. Moon, SG40-10-01000
K. Humphries, PF10-00-00000
J. Graham, SF10-20-00000
M. Baston, SFDid Not Play
P. Brezec, CDid Not Play
J. Garbajosa, PFDid Not Play
Totals 32-8527-28352419100
 37.6%96.4% 
Orlando
D. Howard, C438-139-11222425
R. Lewis, SF415-140-145213
H. Turkoglu, SF379-152-366421
M. Evans, SF345-70-020214
J. Nelson, PG327-138-827524
K. Bogans, SG283-70-05007
K. Dooling, PG164-80-001210
A. Foyle, C40-00-01000
T. Battie, PFDid Not Play
P. Garrity, SFDid Not Play
C. Arroyo, PGDid Not Play
B. Cook, PFDid Not Play
M. Gortat, PFDid Not Play
J. Augustine, PFDid Not Play
J. Redick, SGDid Not Play
Totals 41-7719-23422121114
 53.2%82.6% 
Other Games
Den 114 Final
LAL 128
Phi 90 Final
Det 86
Atl 81 Final
Bos 104