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Howard posts triple-double as Magic throttle Thunder

Nov 13, 2008 - 5:39 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- The Orlando Magic made the Oklahoma City Thunder look more like dry lightning ... no snap, crackle or pop.

Dwight Howard posted a triple-double with 30 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high 10 blocks as the Magic hammered the Thunder, 109-92, on Wednesday.

Oklahoma City was without Kevin Durant due to a sore left ankle.

"That guy might be the best player in the league, and has a chance to be the best big man in the history of the game," Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "What he did tonight was very special, and he has the ability to do that to a team every night. We did a lot tonight to make him look like his potential."

The outcome was never in doubt as the Magic surged to a 37-19 lead after the first quarter and coasted the rest of the way.

Howard, Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus combined for 48 first-half points, outscoring the Thunder by themselves. At the break, it was 71-42.

The Thunder showed some life in the third quarter, closing within 87-71 with a 29-16 run. Still, it was far too little, far too late.

Every member of the Magic's starting five reached double figures, including Howard, who shot 12-of-21 from the field and 6-of-13 from the line. He had five offensive rebounds.

"Pretty impressive night," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I wish he would have had one more rebound so it would have been real even on the stat sheet. 30-20-10.

"You cannot dominate a game much more than that. I thought he was outstanding, I think you have to give our perimeter players a lot of credit to get beat off the dribble that many times to allow him to him to get 10 blocks, I think they did their part. They were very helpful so I think he owes part of it to them. He was absolutely dominant tonight."

The last time a player reached a triple-double with blocks as one of the categories was Marcus Camby, then of the Denver Nuggets, in December 2007.

Howard wasn't overly impressed with himself.

"No, I just think I'd like to do this again someday. It felt good trying to block every shot, but I just want to get better every night," Howard said. "The guys on the bench were keeping me updated on every block and every rebound, so when I got close, they were letting me know, 'Hey, three more blocks', but that last one was the hardest to get knowing I needed just one. I still needed seven assists though.

"I said before the season I want to lead the league in blocks. I want to go out every night and have fun, and just let people know who I am. I'm not just this mean-looking basketball player, I want people to know I have fun. I'll block some shots, and get some rebounds and I'll always have a smile on my face about it. I just think I have to be more consistent. I think I can do things like this every night."

Jeff Green led the Thunder with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

"The past few games my shot has been falling," Green said. "The teams have been backing up off me, and I've been shooting. If they are going to keep doing that, I'm going to keep shooting."

Green is happy to help Durant.

"Whatever it takes to take the pressure off his shoulders I'll do," Green said. "There is so much pressure directed at him, that we need guys to step up and play well to help out. But I am willing to do whatever it takes to help us win."

Rookie Russell Westbrook had a rough game, missing 11 shots before finally connecting from the floor for the Thunder, who also were without forward Chris Wilcox.

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