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Turkoglu leads balanced attack as Magic edge Bobcats

Dec 30, 2007 - 6:00 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Hedo Turkoglu scored 28 points to lead all five starters in double figures as the Orlando Magic registered their third straight win, 104-95, over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.

Rashard Lewis poured in 18 and Carlos Arroyo chipped in 16 and six assists for Orlando, which earned its third consecutive win in the series with Charlotte this season.

Orlando's Dwight Howard once again got the best of Emeka Okafor, who was selected right behind the 7-footer with the No. 2 pick in the 2004 draft.

"Everybody else hypes it up," Howard said about the matchup with Okafor. "But to me, it's just about doing whatever I can do to help my team win."

The 22-year-old Howard had his league-leading 28th double-double with 15 points and 21 rebounds compared to just four and nine by Okafor, who was held scoreless through the first half.

"It's not about numbers or statistics," said Howard, who has 13 straight double-doubles. "(Magic assistant coach) Patrick Ewing is always saying to me about doing other things. A lot of things he did wasn't just scoring. It's about playing defense, blocking shots and controlling the paint on both ends. For my team to win, I have to do those things."

"They (Howard and Okafor) were battling each other pretty well," said Bobcats swingman Jason Richardson, who scored a season-high 34 points.

Orlando dominated points in the paint, outscored Charlotte 46-26.

With Orlando trailing by one in the third quarter, Turkoglu hit a 3-pointer and Lewis followed with a layup to cap a 13-2 surge to grab a 68-58 edge with 5:18 left.

"It seemed like we were shooting a lot of jumpers early in the game, and we were hitting them," Lewis said. "They were out on the perimeter playing us tough and (Stan Van Gundy) told us to start penetrating to the basket."

"I thought we drove the ball pretty well," Van Gundy said. "When the game got closer, we started to attack the basket again."

But Matt Carroll and Gerald Wallace both hit 3-pointers to spark a 13-3 burst between the final two periods, cutting Charlotte's deficit to 80-79 with 8:47 remaining.

However, the Magic pulled away for good as they created another double-digit lead when Turkoglu's 16-foot jumper completed an aggressive 17-9 run to forge a 97-87 advantage with 3:51 left.

Wallace had 23 points, seven boards and seven assists and Raymond Felton added 13 points and six assists as the Bobcats dropped their fourth outing in a row and 10th straight on the road.

Despite the losing streak, Richardson continues to shine as he scored at least 25 points for the fourth consecutive game.

"I just wanted to come out and get it going from the start," Richardson said. "Our team has been struggling from the beginning, so I was just trying to get it going any way I can and keep us close in the game."

"Jason has now strung together (four) solid performances," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "He's shooting the ball a lot better and, defensively, he's getting after people more. So, I think this was one of his better games."

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