Howard powers Magic past CavaliersMar 22, 2011 - 4:24 AM Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard led the way with 28 points and 18 rebounds, as the Orlando Magic earned a 97-86 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loan Arena.
Brandon Bass went for 22 points and six boards, while Ryan Anderson chipped in with 12 points off the bench for Orlando, which edged Denver 85-82 on Friday when Jameer Nelson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer. The Magic have now won three straight and four of their last five.
Orlando also completed a four-game sweep of the Cavaliers in the season series. Jason Richardson finished with 11 points and Nelson ended with eight points, eight assists and six rebounds for the victors.
"Our guys did a good job of getting Dwight the ball," said Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy. "He was just overwhelming out there tonight and he's tough to stop when he's playing like that."
J.J. Hickson had a team-best 18 points and Daniel Gibson totaled 16 points and six assists in a reserve role for the Cavaliers, who have lost three in a row and seven of eight.
"I just want my guys to go out there and play hard for 48 minutes," said Cleveland head coach Byron Scott. "We didn't do that in the first quarter and I told the guys during a timeout that we looked like we were playing in quicksand."
Howard scored 12 points in the opening quarter to help the Magic jump out to a 30-15 lead after 12 minutes and Orlando continued to have its way with things throughout the second.
The lead never dipped below single-digits and Anderson hit from long distance to put the Magic up by 20 with 2:14 before the half. Cleveland was able to answer with five straight, but Hedo Turkoglu drained a three-pointer to give the visitors a healthy 56-38 advantage heading into the locker room.
Orlando showed no signs of slowing down in the third, as Howard made four free throws sandwiched around an emphatic putback dunk three minutes into the quarter to give his squad a 65-41 lead.
Gilbert Arenas' triple closed out the scoring to put the Magic ahead 80-58 after three.
The Cavaliers opened the fourth by scoring 11 straight and were able to get as close as nine after Christian Eyenga hit a three with 3:13 remaining. However, Turkoglu responded by hitting from long range on the Magic's next trip and they held on from there.
Cavaliers guard Baron Davis missed his second straight game with back spasms...Turkoglu finished with eight points and nine assists for the Magic, who shot 46.8 percent from the field and 9-of-28 from three-point range...Eyenga had 12 points for Cleveland, which made 39.5 percent of its shots and 5-of-20 from beyond the arc.
- ORLANDO: 97
Mar 21 9:21 PM
- ORLANDO: 80
End of 3rd
Mar 21 8:49 PM
- ORLANDO: 56
Mar 21 8:09 PM
- ORLANDO: 30
End of 1st
Mar 21 7:40 PM
- ORLANDO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 21 7:12 PM
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