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Orlando at Houston

Howard perfect from floor, sets team mark in Magic's rout of Rockets

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- When Dwight Howard was forced to the bench after his second foul only 22 seconds into Orlando's game Wednesday night against Houston, he worried he had ruined his chance to break the Magic's record for consecutive double-doubles.

Turns out there was no reason for concern.

Howard had 30 points and 16 rebounds on a perfect shooting night to help the Magic cruise to a 110-92 victory against Houston. Howard scored all of his points in the last three quarters after sitting out until the second quarter after the early fouls. The All-Star was 11 for 11 on field goals and set a franchise record with his 19th consecutive double-double, breaking a tie with Shaquille O'Neal.

"I thought they jinxed me today because before they said this would be the game and then I got the two quick fouls and I was like, 'Oh man, I hope I don't get any more,' " Howard said. "But I just tried to come back and just be aggressive on both ends."

The Magic used a 37-point second quarter to take a commanding lead and the Rockets never really threatened after that.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy called Howard's work incredible and said he's never seen him play better than he has recently.

"I don't think it will just be a stretch," Van Gundy said. "I just think his game has matured. He's had stretches where he's played well. Now he's changed the way he plays. So he's not forcing his way to the basket. He's worked hard. he's made improvement and I think he's going to play at a high level all of the time."

Howard said it took some time for him to learn to slow down and be patient on offense.

"I understand now that you don't have to do everything 100 miles an hour," he said. "You don't have to do everything at a fast pace. Just let it happen."

Houston cut it to 97-88 on Chase Budinger's 3-pointer with about 3½ minutes remaining. But Vince Carter hit a 3-pointer seconds later to stretch the lead back to double figures and send most of the fans heading to the exits.

Carter's 3 started an 8-0 run that insured Houston's third straight loss. He finished with 16 points. Jameer Nelson had 17 points and had nine assists for Orlando.

New acquisition Kevin Martin had two points in the first half on free throws after going 0 for 5 on field goals. He was 1 for 9 late in the third quarter before scoring six straight points to start a 17-8 run that cut Orlando's lead to 11 at 85-74 entering the last quarter.

Martin, one of four players acquired in last week's trade that sent Tracy McGrady to the Knicks, added four free throws at the end of that run and finished with 19 points.

"You know the main word around here for me is comfortable," Martin said. "The more comfortable I feel out there and the more I play with these guys, the better off we'll be."

Aaron Brooks led Houston with 24 points and Shane Battier had 14 points as the Rockets continue to adjust to their new lineup.

"It's obvious we are a team in search of a new identity and it's like an exhibition game for us but they count," Battier said. "We were trying to get guys on the same page. We will get it. I am confident we will get it."

Rockets coach Rick Adelman is working on building his up after all the recent changes.

"We have to figure out how we're going to win," he said. "We just lost whatever confidence we really had. We just kind of lost everything, I think with everything that's happened we just don't seem to play with the same energy and enthusiasm that we had before. We have to find a way to get that back."

The Magic led 23-18 after the first quarter despite Howard sitting on the bench for most of it.

He returned for the second quarter and immediately got going, scoring 10 points in the first six minutes of the quarter and had 12 points and eight rebounds by halftime. The Magic led by four before going on a 10-0 run to push the lead to 43-29 about 4½ minutes before halftime.

Brooks hit a 3-pointer after that run before Orlando scored nine straight points to stretch its advantage to 52-32.

The Magic led 60-40 at halftime.

Notes

  • Orlando's Rashard Lewis, who went to Elsik High School in a suburb of Houston, had 13 points.
  • Orlando's 37 second quarter points are the most by a Houston opponent this season.
  • Hilton Armstrong had two points and two rebounds in his Houston debut after last week's trade.
Copyright 2015 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.
 
 
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Dwight Howard makes it look easy. He finishes 11 for 11 from the field and grabs 16 boards.  (Getty Images)
Dwight Howard makes it look easy. He finishes 11 for 11 from the field and grabs 16 boards. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Orlando (39-19) «23372525110
Houston (28-28) 1822341892
ORL:D. Howard 30 Pts
ORL:D. Howard 16 Reb
ORL:J. Nelson 9 Ast
HOU:A. Brooks 24 Pts
HOU:S. Battier 9 Reb
HOU:A. Brooks 8 Ast
Players of the Game
HoustonOrlando

A. Brooks

D. Howard
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
246830163

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Orlando
R. Lewis, PF396-150-041113
D. Howard, C3411-118-12163430
J. Nelson, PG337-150-049117
V. Carter, SG286-93-557416
M. Barnes, SF242-62-34137
M. Pietrus, SG262-80-03126
J. Redick, SG183-120-01406
J. Williams, PG161-40-01112
M. Gortat, PF143-41-17017
R. Anderson, PF92-31-11016
B. Bass, PFDid Not Play
A. Foyle, CDid Not Play
A. Johnson, PGDid Not Play
Totals 43-8715-22462718110
 49.4%68.2% 
Houston
K. Martin, SG415-148-921019
A. Brooks, PG409-222-368224
S. Battier, SF375-61-293114
L. Scola, PF160-50-03000
C. Hayes, PF91-40-04122
C. Budinger, SF315-91-226113
D. Andersen, C243-70-05038
J. Jeffries, PF234-61-12149
G. Temple, PG80-00-02110
H. Armstrong, C71-30-02132
J. Hill, PF20-10-00000
J. Taylor, SG20-01-20011
T. Ariza, SGDid Not Play
Y. Ming, CDid Not Play
K. Lowry, PGDid Not Play
Totals 33-7714-1937221892
 42.9%73.7% 
Other Games
Min 92 Final
Atl 98
Mem 99 Final
Wash 94
Port 101 Final
Tor 87
Ind 110 Final
Chi 120
NO 95 Final
Mil 115
OKC 87 Final
SA 95
LAL 96 Final
Dal 101
Phi 95 Final
Pho 106
Char 93 Final
Utah 102
Det 91 Final
LAC 97