Monster game by Howard keeps Magic alive
Howard had a huge game with 28 pts (9 of 14 FG, but only 10 of 19 FT) and 26 rebounds. Two other Magic players scored over 20 pts; HTurkoglu with 23 pts, and JNelson, with 21 pts, 8 assists, and just 2 TOs. Three other Magic players (Battie, Stevenson, Darko) scored 8 pts apiece. Allen Iverson had his usual outstanding game with 36 pts, but shot just 12 of 29 from the field. Chris Webber had 20 pts and 11 boards, and former Magic draftee Steven Hunter 12 pts.
The FG shooting stats were virtually identical. The Magic (38 of 81, 46.9%) and PHI (39 of 83, 47%) each scored 81 pts from the field. The Magic (21 of 34, 61.8%) outscored PHI (16 of 20, 80%) from the FT line. The Magic dominated the boards 46-33 (including 17 offensive rebs to just 8 for PHI). Both teams took good care of the ball with 10 TOs each. PHI had 19 assists to 16 for the Magic, and the Sixer bench outscored the Magic bench 19-14. The bench is hanging in there despite missing CArroyo with his hamstring injury.
The Magic now have won 12 of 13, 16 of 20, and 12 in a row at home. They now trail the Sixers by just 1 game and CHI by 2 1/2 games. Magic fans must root for the Heat tomorrow to beat the Bulls to keep the Magic from being eliminated from playoff contention.