for this game

Howard paces Magic to road win over Raptors

Feb 1, 2009 - 10:53 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The All-Star duo of Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson helped the Orlando Magic improve on the best road record in the NBA.

Howard scored 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds while Nelson chipped in 18 points and 10 assists Sunday afternoon, leading the Magic to a 113-90 rout of the Toronto Raptors.

It was the sixth victory in the last seven road games for Orlando, which improved to a league-best 18-6 away from home.

"I thought we got off to a good start," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We defended, we moved the ball well. Dwight was great today."

The Magic had lost their last trip to Air Canada Centre, a 108-102 decision on January 4.

But thanks to another dominant effort from Howard, a balanced scoring effort and a pivotal third-quarter run, Orlando never trailed in its latest trip North of the Border.

"We knew we didn't play our best game (the last time we were here)," Nelson said. "We did a better job of not fouling and definitely a better job of staying down on their pump fakes."

Howard, who received the most fan votes for this season's All-Star Game, recorded his 36th double-double of the season and outplayed fellow All-Star Chris Bosh.

"For the most part, we did a pretty good job of containing (Bosh) and trying to keep him from getting to the free-throw line," Howard said. "We know that Chris is a great scorer."

"Dwight is pretty imposing," Toronto coach Jay Triano added. "You can lean on guys a lot more when you have a guy like Dwight back there."

Nelson, a first-time All-Star, scored 14 points in the first half before becoming Orlando's distributor in the second half. The 26-year-old point guard picked up four assists during a 21-6 run that gave Orlando a commanding 74-53 lead with 5:29 left in the third quarter.

Mickael Pietrus scored 22 points off the bench, Rashard Lewis chipped in 15 and Hedo Turkoglu and Courtney Lee added 11 apiece for Orlando, which shot 43 percent (13-of-30) from 3-point range.

Bosh scored just 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting. The superstar forward scored 23 points in last month's win here over Orlando.

Jose Calderon scored 16 points to pace the Raptors, who have lost nine of their last 12 contests.

"I thought our effort was better," Triano said. "(The Magic) are a tough team. Look at the teams they have beaten recently - Lakers, Cavaliers, Nuggets and Spurs."

Orlando entered halftime with a 53-37 lead before pulling away in the third quarter. The Magic opened the quarter on an 8-0 run, capped by a three-point play in which Howard threw down a thunderous dunk after getting fouled by Bosh.

Calderon and Bosh scored Toronto's next six points, slicing the deficit to 64-53. But Orlando responded with a 10-0 run; Howard scored four points in the outburst.