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Dwight Howard’s Rockets are better than Orlando, beat Magic

2014 March 5
by Brian Serra

 

Nik Vucevic and Dwight Howard, neither plays for the L.A. Lakers. Yet.

Nik Vucevic and Dwight Howard, neither plays for the L.A. Lakers.

Dwight Howard continued his winning ways in Orlando on Wednesday night, just as he has for his entire NBA career. Sadly, of course, it was as a member of an opposing team. Dwight’s Houston Rockets overcame a fiery effort from his former team, defeating the Orlando Magic 101-89.

It was the second return visit for Dwight, who was once again welcomed with a strong ovation of boos from the Orlando crowd who pretended to still care that he once divorced them in a rather bitter breakup. As the game proceeded, the boos would dissipate and fans began to focus on cheering their current team rather than concern themselves with the past.

Dwight, now healthy and regaining his dominant form of yore, was cheerful both before, during and after tonight’s game. It helped that he put up 19 points and 14 rebounds in just 31 minutes and certainly helped even more that he left with a win – a win for a team with a 3-seed, and not a lottery 3-seed like Orlando.

While Houston and Dwight may have escaped with the victory, the Magic played a full game and were in it until the very end. Orlando played without Jameer Nelson and Victor Oladipo, but received strong games from their injury replacements in Ronnie Price and Moe Harkless. Both Price and Harkless played energetic defense the entire game and pushed the ball on both ends.

Arron Afflalo led Orlando in scoring with 18 points, while Nik Vucevic had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Harkless had 15 points (12 in the first half). James Harden had 31 points to lead all scorers while Orlando’s own Chandler Parsons had 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Unfortunately, Price and the returning Arron Afflalo still combined for 10 turnovers. Further putting the Magic at a major disadvantage was a 49-34 rebounding deficit. Giving away possessions against one of the elite teams in the NBA is a surefire way to put an otherwise inspired effort, to rest.

mBo Crown Royal #ReignOn Fan Tweet of the Night

While it’s another loss in the column, the Magic (19-44) are playing much more exciting basketball over the last 45 days. Compared to this point a year ago, Orlando is progressing and pressing forward in the #process. While it’s always a painful reminder anytime that your former lover comes to town, Magic fans can take solace in knowing that the franchise is indeed resilient. Also: Dwight Howard was not an actual lover and you never actually had a personal relationship with him.

The Magic have a few days off before traveling to San Antonio for a Saturday night matchup with the Spurs. Tip is set for 8:30 EST.

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