Howard scores 40 as Magic silence ThunderFeb 26, 2011 - 7:04 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard tied a season-high with 40 points, pulled down 15 rebounds and blocked six shots, as Orlando pulled away for a 111-88 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jason Richardson tallied 17 points, J.J. Redick 16, and Jameer Nelson contributed 14 with nine rebounds, as the Magic won for the third time in four games. Howard had his way in the low post by going 16-of-20 from the field and sank 8-of-12 foul shots.
"We came out and did everything we were supposed to from the start," said Richardson.
Kevin Durant had 23 points and 16 rebounds for the Thunder, who have lost back-to-back games for just the fourth time all season. They've yet to lose three straight and will try to avoid that pitfall Sunday afternoon when they host the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Thunder, who shot just 33.3 percent from the field, also received 18 points from Russell Westbrook, 16 from James Harden and 15 from Daequan Cook.
"They played great defense throughout the night and made us take tough shots," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said of the Magic. "It seemed like every shot was contested."
Oklahoma City played without its new acquisitions -- Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed. The Thunder were busy Thursday at the trade deadline, swinging a significant deal with Boston by sending Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic to Beantown for Perkins and reserve guard Nate Robinson. Oklahoma City also made another lesser deal acquiring Mohammed from Charlotte in exchange for forward D.J. White and guard Morris Peterson.
Durant drained a technical free throw and his pull-up jumper had the visitors within 85-78 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining. Redick stemmed the tide by hitting a three-pointer, and consecutive three-balls from Redick and Nelson widened the gap to 96-80 inside six minutes.
The difference grew to 22 on a Howard alley-oop jam off a feed from Hedo Turkoglu at the two-minute mark.
"My teammates found me in the right spots and I'm just trying to stay focused on what I have to do for our team to be successful," said Howard.
The Magic scored 12 in a row in the first quarter, helped by a pair of three- pointers from Richardson, on the way to a 19-7 advantage. They parlayed the good start to a 28-22 edge after one quarter.
Orlando didn't relinquish the lead the final three periods, extending to a 53-40 lead on Turkoglu's layup with three minutes remaining in the half. It was 59-48 at the break and 80-70 going into the fourth.
Oklahoma City has lost seven consecutive visits to Orlando and hasn't won in central Florida since March 13, 2004 when they were the Sonics...Turkoglu had 10 boards...Orlando held a 54-26 scoring advantage in the paint.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 88
Feb 25 10:43 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 70
End of 3rd
Feb 25 10:06 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 48
Feb 25 9:21 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 22
End of 1st
Feb 25 8:40 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 25 8:11 PM
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