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Howard, Lewis shine as Magic held off Timberwolves

Nov 7, 2007 - 5:32 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Dwight Howard collected 28 points and 16 rebounds and Rashard Lewis added 27 points as the Orlando Magic held on for an 111-103 victory over Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Carlos Arroyo netted 18 points off the bench and Hedo Turkoglu chipped in 14 and two steals for the Magic, who shot 47 percent (35-of-73) from the field.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was impressed with the way Arroyo led the team in the absence of starter Jameer Nelson.

"Arroyo was great," Van Gundy said. "He played a very good game, not only scoring, but that he only had one turnover in the game. That was key, because I thought our defense was atrocious. We only turned the ball over nine times and that allowed us to stay in the game."

Orlando was coasting along with a commanding 16-point lead with 10:30 remaining in the fourth quarter until Minnesota made things interesting.

Behind Al Jefferson, the Timberwolves used an impressive 14-0 surge to close the deficit to 92-90 with 6:11 left. Jefferson poured in eight of his season-high 25 points during the run.

"When they went on their run, (Jefferson) was really going to work on us," Van Gundy said. "He's a (heck) of a player and I don't think you're ever going to stop him. But I thought that for three quarters at least he wasn't going crazy on us."

But Orlando managed to maintain its advantage courtesy of Lewis, who drilled three 3-pointers to create a 101-95 bulge with 3:53 left.

"We had to get our composure and come down and make some shots," Lewis said. "We weren't playing good defense, but I was able to make some big threes and keep the lead."

"We did some good, we fought back," Minnesota coach Randy Wittman said. "Then Lewis hit three big shots. They made big plays. You have to give them credit."

Marko Jaric scored five consecutive points to help the Timberwolves close within 104-100 at 2:18 mark. But Howard sank a rare pair of free throws and Turkoglu scored on a fast-break dunk off Sebastian Telfair's bad pass to hold off Minnesota.

Greg Buckner netted 18 points and Jaric and rookie Corey Brewer chipped in 10 apiece as the inexperienced Timberwolves remain winless at 0-3 this season.

"They've played three really good games and don't have a win to show for it," Van Gundy said. "And, unfortunately, that's what happens to young teams. They got themselves back in the game and then made some real crucial mistakes. But if they keep playing with that effort and energy, then they are going to continue to be a tough team to play against."

Minnesota opened the game with a 13-4 run, highlighted by eight points from swingman Rashad McCants, who left the game at the 1:19 mark with a sprained right ankle and did not return.

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