Magic handle Nash-less SunsMar 13, 2011 - 10:59 PM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard posted 26 points and 15 rebounds in Orlando's dominating 111-88 win over the Phoenix Suns, who were without All-Star guard Steve Nash.
Nash did not play because of pelvic instability, which has hampered him for the last few games. The Suns decided before the game that he could not play.
Meanwhile, Brandon Bass had 17 points and six rebounds while Jameer Nelson posted 14 points for the Magic, who bounced back from a 123-120 overtime loss to Golden State on Friday. They are 2-1 on a current five-game road trip.
Hedo Turkoglu had 13 points and seven boards in the win and Gilbert Arenas chipped in 16 points off the bench.
Aaron Brooks, who started in place of Nash, tallied a team-high 19 points while dishing out 10 assists. Mickael Pietrus had 14 points and Marcin Gortat posted 12 points for the Suns, who have lost two straight to finish out a three-game homestand at 1-2.
"I'm still feeling it out," Brooks said. "Finding out everybody, where they want the ball at, different spots, trying to figure out the offense; trying to watch Steve (Nash), see what he does and implement that, since this offense has been so successful."
Orlando doubled the Suns' score, 12-6, early in the game following Howard's back-to-back dunks and a free throw. The Magic held a 32-26 lead after the opening 12 minutes.
"We just usually come out slow and sluggish and tonight we wanted to come out with a lot more energy and intensity and I just think that's what you saw tonight," Bass said.
Early in the second, Phoenix chipped the lead to one point twice. However, a nine-point burst put Orlando up 49-36. Howard scored the Magic's final seven points of the half to keep them up 61-52 at the break.
The Magic really blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Suns 26-13. It was a Phoenix season-low for points in the third quarter.
The visitors finished the third with an 11-1 run led by Howard's seven points. He drained a mid-range jumper with 1:19 left to make it 87-65 heading into the final quarter.
Orlando cruised in the final frame, sitting its starters for most of the quarter and keeping at least a 16-point lead.
Howard eclipsed 10,000 points during the game...Orlando improve to 18-14 on the road... Nash, who is listed as day-to-day, also missed the Suns' 105-89 loss at Orlando on November 18 with a groin strain...Brooks was acquired by Phoenix on February 24 from Houston...Orlando guard J.J. Redick did not play with a strained lower abdominal...The Magic out-rebounded the Suns, 57-40...Orlando swept the season series against the Suns for the first time since 2001-02 and collected its first win in Phoenix since Nov. 14, 2001.
- ORLANDO: 111
Mar 13 5:57 PM
- ORLANDO: 87
End of 3rd
Mar 13 5:22 PM
- ORLANDO: 61
Mar 13 4:33 PM
- ORLANDO: 32
End of 1st
Mar 13 3:59 PM
- ORLANDO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 13 3:33 PM
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