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Lewis, Howard lead Magic past Nets

Feb 7, 2008 - 5:21 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Rashard Lewis and the Orlando Magic used a big second-quarter run to cruise to victory.

Lewis scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds as the Magic posted a 100-84 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday.

All-Star Dwight Howard had 21 points and 13 boards and Hedo Turkoglu had 19 and six assists for Orlando, which has won five of six and eight of 10 overall.

However, before the Magic's stars got into gear, their bench stepped in to rev things up.

Reserves Brian Cook and Keyon Dooling accounted for all but four of Orlando's 22 first-period points.

"The bench came in and gave us a little more energy than the starters did," Lewis said. "Once they (the reserves) got the game going, the starters and the rest of the team was able to go back in and keep it flowing."

Cook, Dooling and guard Jameer Nelson each scored 11 points while combining to shoot 11-of-20 from the field off the pine.

"When I get on a roll, the basket looks like a big ocean and I'm throwing a rock in there," said Cook, whose points all came in the first period. "All week long, coach has been harping about getting off to a better start. I hit a couple of shots and everybody else got on a roll and started hitting threes."

The win also evened the Magic's record to 1-1 on their current five-game homestand against teams that made the playoffs last season. Orlando dropped a 107-98 decision to Dallas here on Monday.

"I thought we started the game with virtually no focus," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "But once we got into the game, and the second quarter especially, I thought we got a good lift out of our bench in terms of energy and defensive intensity. Then, as the other players came back into the game, they kept it going."

The Magic trailed by eight points 3:31 into the second quarter before dominating play the rest of the way.

After Bostjan Nachbar drilled a jumper to give New Jersey its eight-point lead, Orlando closed the period on a 25-8 run to take a 47-38 advantage at the break.

Lewis, who connected on 6-of-14 from the floor - including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, scored seven in the burst, including two 3-pointers. Turkoglu also hit two shots from the arc in the spurt for Orlando, which shot 47 percent (34-of-72).

Howard dunked 39 seconds into the third before back-to-back threes by Lewis gave the Magic a 55-38 advantage 2:32 into the quarter. Howard, who recorded his NBA-leading 44th double-double of the season, scored 10 in the period as Orlando took a 75-58 lead into the fourth quarter.

"We've just got to come out better," Howard said. "I think the bench did a great job, but in the third period we pushed ourselves to get better. (Tuesday) in practice, coach talked about taking the next step towards being a good team. I think we did a pretty good job of taking that next step."

Vince Carter scored 18 points and Jason Kidd had 13, six rebounds and seven assists for the Nets, who shot 42 percent (33-of-79) and have lost three straight and 12 of 14.

"We've had these type of games where we started really well and then the other team makes a run and we've just folded," Kidd said. "Our pattern has been to play our best after the All-Star break but, if we wait to do that, then we are putting ourselves in a real bad situation."

"Our fight and perseverance just was not there," Carter said. "All we ask is to put more fight and see it through. We can all completely do that."

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