Magic deal blow to Bobcats' playoff aspirationsApr 2, 2011 - 3:52 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard powered his way to 26 points and 14 rebounds, as Orlando earned an 89-77 win over the playoff-hopeful Charlotte Bobcats.
Howard went 10-of-14 from the floor for the Magic, who won for the sixth time in eight tries. They are entrenched in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.
"You want to finish the season on a good note, but at the same time we want to make sure we get our rest," Howard said. "We don't have a lot of guys out there, so we've got to play hard."
Gilbert Arenas (illness), Chris Duhon (sprained right thumb) and J.J. Redick (lower abdominal strain) all missed the game for Orlando.
Jameer Nelson chipped in 15 points and six assists, while Quentin Richardson totaled 14 points in a reserve role, as Orlando snapped a two-game skid.
Dante Cunningham posted a career-best 21 points for the Bobcats, who are now two games behind Indiana for the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers edged Milwaukee Friday night.
D.J. Augustin added 19 points for Charlotte, which had a four-game winning streak broken. Bobcats forward Stephen Jackson, the team's leading scorer this season, missed the contest due to a strained left hamstring.
Holding a 23-17 lead after one quarter, the Magic widened the gap to double- digits midway through the second. Howard's three-point play extended the advantage to 40-28. Orlando's lead stood at 49-39 at the break.
A jumper from D.J. White had Charlotte within 65-60 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third, but the Magic scored the last five of the stanza.
Cunningham's bucket made it a six-point difference again with 10:22 remaining, but Orlando's ensuing 12-2 burst put the decision to rest. Richardson hit a pair of three-pointers during the surge, which ended on two free throws from Brandon Bass. That widened the spread to 82-66 with 4 1/2 minutes to go.
Orlando has won three straight and 10 of the last 11 meetings...Charlotte has lost 11 of 12 at Orlando...Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson had 11 points and seven rebounds. He has scored in double figures in a career-best seven straight games...The Bobcats committed 16 turnovers, leading to 21 Orlando points. Prior to Friday's game, they had 10 or fewer turnovers in each of their last three contests.
- CHARLOTTE: 77
Apr 1 9:20 PM
- CHARLOTTE: 60
End of 3rd
Apr 1 8:51 PM
- CHARLOTTE: 39
Apr 1 8:09 PM
- CHARLOTTE: 17
End of 1st
Apr 1 7:36 PM
- CHARLOTTE: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 1 7:12 PM
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