Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Dwight Howard dominated in the paint with 30 points and 16 rebounds, pacing Orlando to a 105-90 win over the New Jersey Nets.
Jameer Nelson added 20 points and six assists, but landed awkwardly on the foot of Nets guard Devin Harris while attempting to block a shot with 1:55 remaining in the final quarter. Nelson’s left ankle twisted and he walked gingerly off the court.
Vince Carter tallied 19 points for Orlando, which beat the Nets for the 11th time in the last 14 meetings.
Travis Outlaw scored 17 for New Jersey, which wasted a double-digit lead in the second quarter.
The Magic erased a 51-41 deficit by netting the final seven points of the first half and then pushing ahead 54-53 following a Nelson layup just over two minutes into the third.
Orlando shot 12-of-18 from the field in the third, led by Nelson’s 10 points. But it was Howard who powered his way for a jam and a 68-61 lead, finishing off a 9-2 burst with 4:41 left in the quarter. The Magic finished the period on a 10-2 spurt, capped by a Mickael Pietrus three-ball for an 80-67 advantage.
That stretched to a 17-2 run as Brandon Bass drilled a pair from the charity stripe for a 20-point cushion 1:23 into the fourth. The Nets never got within single digits the rest of the night.
The Magic led by as many as seven in the opening quarter before settling for a 20-18 edge after 12 minutes. The Nets went 13-of-21 from the floor in the second, led by 10 points from Terrence Williams. They gained their first double-digit lead at 46-36 following an Outlaw three-pointer, his second in less than a minute.
This was the road opener for the Nets, who dropped their final 10 away contests last year…The Magic have won seven of the last eight matchups versus the Nets in Orlando…Rashard Lewis checked in with 12 points and eight boards for the Magic, while Williams had 15 points, Devin Harris 14 and Kris Humphries 13 for the Nets.