for this game

Howard, Magic dominate offensively-challenged Nets

Nov 17, 2007 - 5:25 AM By Carl Dispoto PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The Orlando Magic have not historically liked hitting the road. That trend may be changing.

Rashard Lewis matched a season high with 27 points and Dwight Howard collected 21 and 19 rebounds as the Magic remained unbeaten on the road with a 95-70 victory over the reeling New Jersey Nets on Friday.

Orlando won despite the exploits of New Jersey's star point guard Jason Kidd, who collected 11 points, 10 assists and a career-high 19 rebounds for his second triple-double of the season and the 89th of his career for New Jersey.

The Nets also overcame their offensive struggles, winning handily despite shooting just 41 percent (34-of-83).

The Magic have won eight of their first 10 games to match the best start in franchise history and improved to an NBA-best 6-0 on the road. Orlando, which went 23-18 in 1995-96 for the club's only winning season on the road, also matched the longest road winning streak in team history from March 15-April 3, 1996.

"It's a good thing right now and, hopefully, we can keep it going," Howard said. "The main thing is for our team to stay humble and not get over-excited."

Lewis made 9-of-16 shots and Howard dominated the Nets inside, shooting 8-of-13 en route to his ninth double-double. Orlando never trailed after the opening minutes and the final margin represented its largest lead of the game.

The 70 points nearly matched the Nets' lowest scoring output of the season and marked the third time this season that New Jersey has scored 70 or fewer points in a game.

"Everyone is accountable starting with me and across the board," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "There is no need to press. You are not going to make shots if you press. There are no easy answers. We have to continue to search for ways to score."

Richard Jefferson scored 15 points but made just 4-of-19 shots as the Nets played their third consecutive game without star guard Vince Carter, who is sidelined with a sprained right ankle.

New Jersey also limited forward Nenad Krstic to just four minutes and were without injured reserve point guard Darrell Armstrong. The Nets signed Eddie Gill to replace Armstrong prior to the game and were forced to give him 14 minutes due to a lack of depth.

"They're depleted," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "They brought in a guy and had to play him right away. The team is banged up. I'll take the win and be happy about it because they're hard to get in this league."

Orlando never trailed after the opening minutes, holding New Jersey to a season-low 10 points in the first quarter. The Nets had more turnovers (six) than baskets (five) and missed their final 11 shots of the period, which the Magic ended with a 21-4 run to take a 25-10 lead.

Lewis and Jameer Nelson combined to score 11 straight points during a key spurt in the third quarter after New Jersey had reduced an 18-point deficit to just seven.

The Nets again climbed within nine early in the fourth quarter, but the Magic put away the game with 12 consecutive points. Lewis buried two technical free throws during the stretch after Jefferson and New Jersey center Jason Collins were cited for arguing calls less than 90 seconds apart.

It was a clear sign of frustration for New Jersey, which went scoreless for more than six minutes and missed seven straight shots to contribute to a season-low 29 percent shooting (25-of-94) from the field and have lost four in a row.

"We can't put ourselves in that situation," Frank said. "No one likes to be embarrassed like we have been embarrassed. We have to focus on the real stuff and deal with that stuff behind closed doors."

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