There was no stopping Superman on this night -- though Krypto-Nate and the New York Knicks came close.
Howard had 24 points and 21 rebounds in his 20th career 20-20 game, and the Orlando Magic held on to beat the Knicks 114-109 on Wednesday night.
Hedo Turkoglu scored 33 points to lead the Magic, who bounced back from a 120-102 loss in Chicago on Tuesday, their worst defensive performance of the season. Orlando was in control most of the way before the Knicks used some clutch 3-point shooting to pull within two in the final 30 seconds.
"I just tried to be aggressive early, get my team motivated," Howard said, "and coming from the bad loss we had last night I just tried to get everybody involved."
Howard overwhelmed the undersized Knicks for most of the game, then Rafer Alston and Rashard Lewis hit big 3-pointers in the final 3½ minutes after New York had chipped away. Lewis scored 17 points, while Alston and Courtney Lee each added 15.
"I like the effort at the end, but they're a better team than we are right now," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Howard's final basket came when he caught a lob pass from Turkoglu and slammed it down while being fouled by Robinson, converting the three-point play for a 106-97 advantage with 1:31 to play.
"They made shots," Robinson said. "They got Dwight down there. He does a great job of bringing so much attention to himself. Guys are just making shots. For the most part, we played hard. They walked away with the win."
Yet the Magic couldn't relax until Robinson missed a 3-pointer with the Knicks trailing by four and under 15 seconds left.
"We got lazy," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I thought we really worked on the defensive end for three quarters."
It was Howard's sixth 20-20 game this season. The best chance for the Knicks, who play without a true center, may have been to ask Orlando assistant Patrick Ewing, their career scoring leader, to grab his No. 33 from the rafters and suit up to defend Howard.
Robinson overcame a slow start to score 32 for the Knicks, his fifth 30-point game in the last seven. He is averaging 29.8 points since beating Howard in Phoenix to win his second dunk title.
Wilson Chandler had 27 and Al Harrington finished with 26. David Lee had 10 points and 10 rebounds to remain tied with Howard for the NBA lead with 46 double-doubles, though D'Antoni admitted Lee wasn't sharp.
Larry Hughes was 1-for-6 from the field, falling to 4-for-22 since the Knicks acquired him from Chicago at the trade deadline.
Howard had 12 points and 10 rebounds and all four of his blocked shots in the first quarter, helping Orlando take a 25-15 lead. Harrington and Lee were a combined 7-for-15, but the rest of the Knicks missed all 13 shots, with Robinson off on all five attempts.
Turkoglu took over in the second, when the Magic made 12 of 17 shots (71 percent) and pushed their lead to as much as 17. He scored 10 points in the period and Orlando led 57-43 at the break.
"I think he was the key to the game for us offensively after the first quarter," Van Gundy said of Turkoglu. "Dwight got us off to a great start. "
Orlando pushed the lead back to 16 when Turkoglu's 3-pointer made it 72-56 with about 4½ minutes left in the third, but Chandler hit three 3-pointers in the final 4:15 as the Knicks cut it to 81-71 heading to the fourth.
- Howard waved his arms from the bench between the first and second quarters to encourage the cheers for Ewing when he was shown on the overhead scoreboard.
- The teams meet three more times between March 21 and April 10.
- Orlando took a 38-37 lead in the series.
- After reaching a buyout with Stephon Marbury on Tuesday, the Knicks have only 12 players on the active roster, and one of them is Cuttino Mobley, who has retired because of a heart condition.