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Howard needs some help, or Magic will be gone

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Howard needs some help, or Magic will be gone · Notes, Quotes

There will be no rest for Dwight Howard.

When the Magic returns to action Friday night in Atlanta for Game 3 of this best-of-seven series against the Atlanta Hawks, they will be leaning more heavily than ever on Howard.

He played 46 minutes in a Game 1 loss and all 48 minutes in a Game 2 victory and expects the same heavy load the rest of the series.

"If it takes 48 minutes, I'll be out there for 48," Howard said. "I can rest when I die. For now, there's work to be done to reach our goals. I need to be out there."

Howard still is waiting for his supporting cast to arrive after watching them struggle through the first two games. While he scored 46 points in Game 1 and 33 in Game 2, his help was hard to find. Jameer Nelson played well in Game 1, but he struggled like everyone else in Game 2.

Howard has been the only constant, but that has to change if the Magic expect to do anything but just survive against Atlanta. They started the playoffs thinking they where serious contenders, but they haven't looked that way in the first two games.

Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, expected to help carry the load, have struggled.

MAGIC 88, HAWKS 82: The Magic clamped down defensively on the Hawks, who let Dwight Howard dominate around the basket (33 points, 19 rebounds). The Magic tied the best-of-seven series at one game apiece. The Magic shot just 34.6 percent and made only 5 of 23 shots from 3-point range, yet they survived because of Howard. He made 9 of 12 shots and 15 of 19 free throws. The Hawks took only 17 free throws, while the Magic held a 52-39 rebounds advantage. The Magic grabbed the lead late in the second quarter and never let it get away.

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2016-17 Team Leaders
PPGEvan Fournier , SG16.5
RPGNikola Vucevic , C10
APGElfrid Payton , PG5.9
FG%Serge Ibaka , PF48.9
FT%D.J. Augustin , PG87
3P%Serge Ibaka , PF38
BLOCKSSerge Ibaka , PF72
STEALSElfrid Payton , PG50
MPGEvan Fournier , SG32.1
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