Howard returns as Magic top SixersApr 12, 2011 - 1:39 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard posted 19 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks, as the Orlando Magic rolled to an easy 95-85 victory over Philadelphia 76ers in the penultimate regular season game for the Eastern Conference playoff teams.
Howard returned from a one-game suspension to anchor a dominating frontcourt that had nearly twice as many rebounds as the opposition (56-31).
Ryan Anderson chipped in 18 points and 14 boards and Jameer Nelson scored 19 points for the Magic, who have won three of four.
Orlando had already locked up the No. 4 seed and will play Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs. The loss clinched the No. 7 seed for the Sixers, who have dropped four of five overall.
Elton Brand paced Philadelphia with 22 points, while Jrue Holiday added 15 to go with 11 assists in the loss.
Nelson made three of Orlando's six three-pointers in the first quarter, and the visitors held a staggering 17-2 rebounding edge en route to a 34-25 lead.
The Magic continued their dominance on the glass, but went cold from the field in the second frame, missing nine straight shots and two free throws during a 14-0 Sixers run that tied the game, 43-43.
The Sixers still trailed at the break, 50-47, but took their first lead, 54-52, on a Holiday three-ball 2 1/2 minutes into the third quarter.
That proved to be Philadelphia's only lead of the game, as Orlando scored 21 of the next 25 points. Howard put in a pair of highlight-reel dunks during the stretch with an alley-oop slam over an overmatched Holiday and a one-handed flush off a Hedo Turkolgu missed three.
Anderson's three-pointer ended the run, and the Magic's 76-62 advantage at the third-quarter buzzer was never challenged in the final 12 minutes.
The Magic finished 11-for-25 from behind the arc...Sixers guard Andre Iguodala did not play due to knee tendinitis...Howard was previously suspended for picking up his 18th technical foul last week...Orlando has won six straight meetings in Philadelphia...The Sixers will go for their first winning season since the 2004-05 campaign in a home tilt against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday...Orlando, which ended the season with a 23-18 road record, closes out the regular season against Indiana on Wednesday.
- ORLANDO: 95
Apr 11 9:19 PM
- ORLANDO: 76
End of 3rd
Apr 11 8:49 PM
- ORLANDO: 49
Apr 11 8:08 PM
- ORLANDO: 34
End of 1st
Apr 11 7:35 PM
- ORLANDO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 11 7:12 PM
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