100 - 79 Final
  for this game

Howard powers Magic over Bobcats

Dec 31, 2011 - 5:28 AM Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard finished with 24 rebounds and 20 points, powering the Orlando Magic to a 100-79 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Howard recorded his first 20-20 game of the season for the Magic, who have won three consecutive games since opening with a loss at Oklahoma City.

Orlando, which got a game-high 23 points from forward Ryan Anderson, began the night with an 11-0 run and never looked back.

"I think we had a good defensive night," Anderson said. "You can always point back to Dwight, though. Every time somebody takes it to the basket, you're going to see the big fella down there."

Corey Maggette had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead the Bobcats, who have dropped their last two. Charlotte head coach Paul Silas said his team didn't execute the offense much, something that prompted him to say he will call more of the plays.

"The last three minutes I had to tell them, you guys have to execute," Silas said. "We were just dribbling, dribbling, dribbling, clock running down on us."

The Magic's game-opening rally lasted about four minutes and featured an in- rhythm Jason Richardson, who sank a jumper, drilled a three-pointer and ended the run with a layup. Howard provided the other two baskets.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats played sloppy basketball, committing two lost-ball turnovers and missing four jumpers. Gerald Henderson had two of the misses and also had a finger-roll blocked by Howard.

Charlotte fought to stay close during the remainder of the first quarter, but couldn't quite make up the deficit and trailed, 29-23, heading into the second.

For the rest of the half, the Magic pulled away just as the Bobcats got close, slightly widening their lead each time.

When Byron Mullens' jumper had Charlotte within 31-27 two minutes into the second quarter, the Magic scored the next four. After Derrick Brown sank a jumper to pull the Bobcats within six, Richardson made a layup and J.J. Redick tipped in a shot for a 41-31 lead.

With about five minutes to go, Henderson's dunk made it a nine-point game, but Richardson followed with a three for a 49-37 advantage, and Orlando carried a 56-43 lead into the break.

Orlando led by double digits for most of the third quarter and cruised to the victory in the fourth.

Game Notes

Mullens set a career high with 12 points...D.J. Augustin added 14 points for the Bobcats, who shot just 36 percent...Richardson ended with 16 points for the Magic, who made 12-of-28 from three-point range but just 14-of-24 from the free throw line...Silas said forward Tyrus Thomas, who hasn't played this season because of a sprained ankle, worked out on the treadmill Friday and could return next week.

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