Howard leads Magic over shorthanded SunsNov 19, 2010 - 6:51 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, leading the Orlando Magic to a 105-89 win over the shorthanded Phoenix Suns.
The Suns played without point guard Steve Nash because of a strained groin and starting center Robin Lopez, who has a sprained knee.
With those key figures out, the Magic made 54.1 percent of their field goals -- including 10-of-25 from three-point range, and held the Suns to 45.6 percent shooting.
Jameer Nelson provided 15 points and 12 assists for Orlando, which has won three in a row.
"I was just trying to be aggressive and make the play that was there whether it was for me to score [or not]," Nelson said. "Guys did a great job of getting open and making shots."
Grant Hill scored 21 points to pace Phoenix, which was coming off Wednesday's loss in Miami. Goran Dragic started in place of Nash and finished with 10 points, all of which came in the second quarter.
"Playing without Steve was tough, and we got off to such a terrible start, turning the ball over. We never really got into any kind of rhythm," said Suns head coach Alvin Gentry. "You have to make a choice against this team. We don't have the size to guard Dwight on the inside so we had to double-team him, and then they rotated the ball and made three-pointers."
Orlando took control in the first quarter, during which they made 13-of-22 shots. A pair of Quentin Richardson layups bookended a 13-0 run, which gave Orlando a 21-9 advantage.
The Magic were in front by a 31-15 margin moving to the second quarter, and steadily expanded their lead, thanks to an 11-of-18 success rate from the field. A Rashard Lewis three and Vince Carter reverse lay-in ended the half, and Orlando took a 62-34 lead into the break.
The margin was 91-59 after three quarters, and the Magic cruised the rest of the way.
Earl Clark and Jared Dudley scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, off the Suns' bench...Phoenix made 24-of-33 free throws...Nelson's 12 assists were a season high.
- PHOENIX: 89
Nov 18 10:43 PM
- PHOENIX: 59
End of Regulation
Nov 18 10:04 PM
- PHOENIX: 34
Nov 18 9:19 PM
- PHOENIX: 15
Nov 18 8:45 PM
- PHOENIX: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Nov 18 8:17 PM
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