for this game

Magic turn it on in second half, down Kings

Feb 25, 2008 - 4:01 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- With the Sacramento Kings tumbling into Western Conference obscurity, the Orlando Magic took the opportunity to add to their win column.

Dwight Howard scored 26 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and the Magic received 37 points of the bench en route to a 112-93 victory over the Kings on Sunday.

Rashard Lewis added 16 points and seven rebounds and Hedo Turkoglu chipped in 13 points for Orlando (36-22), which maintained its three-game edge over the Cleveland Cavaliers (32-24) for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

"We didn't play very good defense in the first quarter or the first half", said Lewis, who connected 4-of-6 shots from the arc. "But in the second half we picked it up on the defense end and were able to get some easy baskets."

Deadlocked at 46-46 at the half, Lewis gave the Magic the lead for good at 53-50 when he drained a 3-pointer with 9:52 left in the third. Howard added eight points in the quarter as Orlando built up a 74-68 advantage heading into the final frame.

The bench took over in the fourth quarter as Brian Cook scored 11 points during a 15-2 run that made the score 89-70 with 7:56 left in the game.

"I have to come in and just hit shots off the bench", said Cook, who connected on 5-of-8 shots from the field including 4-of-5 3-pointers. "That's something I've grown accustomed to."

"Brian Cook...he can really play", said Keyon Dooling, who along with Cook led the Magic bench as the reserves scored Orlando's first 24 points of the fourth quarter. "Learning the plays, learning where he's supposed to be, and learning the schemes, he's starting to get a grasp of that. He's really starting to blossom for us."

Cook finished with 14 points - matching his second highest total of the season - and Dooling had 14 as well on 5-of-9 shooting and four assists.

"Obviously Keyon and Brian at the offensive end did a very good job", Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We rode the high pick-and-roll with Keyon and Brian to stretch the lead a little bit."

"A lot of times, NBA schemes are to protect the paint", Dooling said. "But when you have a big man (Cook) that can step out and knock it down for you, that's a huge weapon coming off our bench."

The Kings, who traded away former franchise player Mike Bibby at the trading deadline on Thursday, are seven games behind the Golden State Warriors (33-22) for the final playoff spot in the West and had a three-game winning streak snapped.

"Things change pretty quickly in this league," said Sacramento guard Kevin Martin, who scored 21 points and added a season-high 10 rebounds.

Martin, along with the rest the King's starters, played limited minutes in the fourth quarter as the game was out of reach early.

Howard kept the Magic in the game at the start, scoring 13 points in the first quarter as Sacramento finished the frame on top, 29-25. Turkoglu scored six and Lewis eight in the second quarter to help Orlando forge a halftime tie.

"I thought after the first quarter we played very well", Van Gundy said. "I thought it was one of our best defensive three quarters of the year. First quarter we gave them 11 fast break points, 15 in the first half and then only two in the second half. I thought we did good defensively against the number 7 or 8 scoring team in the league."

Ron Artest finished with 23 points and Brad Miller finished with 17 points for the Kings, who committed 15 turnovers and shot just 65 percent (17-of-26)from the free throw line.

Orlando, which shot just 37 percent (15-of-40) in the opening 24 minutes, went 25-of-43 (58 percent) from the floor in the second half and finished the game connecting on 11-of-22 from the arc.

"Any time they shoot the ball better than 50 percent from the 3-point line, it is tough to beat this team," Magic coach Reggie Theus said. "I thought they executed their game plan very well."

  • NBA

    Feb 24 8:27 PM

  • NBA

    Feb 24 7:52 PM

  • NBA

    Feb 24 7:09 PM

  • NBA

    Feb 24 6:37 PM