Howard's huge game leads Magic over MIN
GHill was deactivated as a precautionary measure, but the other players stepped up. Five other Magic players (besides Dwight) scored in double figures, including 4 players off the bench. JNelson led the Magic with 23 pts on 8 of 13 shooting. Darko led the reserves with a season-best 15 pts, followed by PGarrity with 11 pts, and KDooling and TAriza with 10 pts apiece. KG led MIN with 28 pts 11 rebs, and Ricky Davis added 16 pts.
The Magic (41 of 82; 50%) outscored MIN (31 of 70; 44.3%) 85-65 from the floor, though the Magic shot just 3 of 11 from 3 pt range. MIN (33-37; 89.2%) had the edge at the FT line over the Magic (24 of 32; 75%), though the Magic shot FTs much better than they have been. ORL dominated the boards 46-28, and had their best assist/turnover ratio of the year at 21-11. MIN had a similar ratio of 20-11. The Magic bench came up huge, outscoring the MIN bench 52-23.
Nice to see BHill make much better use of the bench than he did against the Pacers. Darko was given 24 minutes of playing time and did very well, posing match-up problems for MIN. Even Garrity scored in double figures. Only 3 TOs by the starting five... and what a dominating performance by Dwight! Keith Bogans (5 pts 3 assists 2 rebs) was steady in replacing Grant in the lineup. A very encouraging win after a very discouraging loss the previous night.