103 - 86 Final
  for this game

Howard, Magic throttle Bucks

Mar 29, 2008 - 4:06 AM By David Cotey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- With Andrew Bogut out with a broken nose, Dwight Howard dominated the inside. Not that he needed the added edge.

Howard had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Orlando Magic to a 103-86 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at the Bradley Center.

Howard recorded his NBA-best 64th double-double, just four shy of Shaquille O'Neal's team record set in 1992-93, as the Magic recorded their franchise-record 24th road victory this season.

"It feels good," Howard said. "Last year, we couldn't win a game on the road. This year, we played good on the road and at home. I'm happy with our progress, but I'm not satisfied yet. We've got a long way to go."

Rashard Lewis scored 16 points and Carlos Arroyo added 13 for Orlando, which snapped a two-game losing streak.

The Magic got out to a fast start and led by as many as 17 points in the first quarter. Howard had 11 points as the Magic built a 29-12 lead.

"Dwight played outstanding," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I thought it was one of his better games of the year. I thought he took control of it on both ends early in the game and had a consistent effort throughout the ballgame, even with the big lead. I thought he was terrific tonight."

The Bucks closed the gap to 31-23 but Orlando regained its double-digit advantage at 34-23 by the end of the first and never led by less than 11 points thereafter.

"The last time we played these guys they really kicked our butt, so we wanted to come out with a better effort," Howard said. "I came out with a lot of energy, went to the free-throw line and concentrated on making my free throws. I know that for our team to be successful I need to come out with a lot of energy."

Milwaukee starting center Bogut, who is averaging 13.9 points and a team-high 9.5 rebounds, suffered a broken nose in Atlanta on Wednesday and missed Friday's game after undergoing a medical procedure to fix it. He is considered day-to-day.

With Bogut sidelined, Michael Ruffin, Jake Voskuhl and Dan Gadzuric all spent time trying to guard Howard. The trio picked up eight fouls in the first quarter alone as Howard made 8-of-10 free throws for the Magic, winners of seven of their last 10.

"We knew Bogut wasn't playing and we knew we wanted to play inside-out with Dwight," Lewis said. "Dwight did a great job. They got some foul trouble early in the game."

Orlando improved to 24-13 on the road, surpassing its previous best road mark of 23-18 in 1995-96.

"One of the things the guys have bought into is trying to raise the bar a little bit here and raise the expectations of what we want with our franchise," Van Gundy said. "Obviously to have the most road wins they've ever had, especially with a team that went to the (NBA) Finals, yeah, it's a nice accomplishment."

Mo Williams had 18 points and Royal Ivey added 12 off the bench to lead the Bucks, losers of 12 of their last 14.

"We dug ourselves a hole and it's hard to play behind against a good team," Ivey said.

Michael Redd, honored at halftime as one of 20 players on the franchise's 40th Anniversary Team, finished with seven points.

"You can try to drop as many story lines as you want, but the bottom line is, I'd say probably two-thirds of our shots were good shots," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "They just didn't go in."

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