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Howard dominates as Magic edge Cavaliers in first of China Games
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Dwight Howard didn't honor his commitment to dunk over LeBron James, but it didn't stop the NBA China Games from rocking 15,000 fervent fans in Shanghai last night.

Dwight Howard scored a game high 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead his team over the Cleveland Cavaliers 90-86 in the first NBA China Games in Shanghai yesterday.[Photo:Sina.com]

The Orlando Magic center scored a game high 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead his team over the Cleveland Cavaliers 90-86 in a sold-out NBA preseason game at Qizhong Forest Sports City, part of the NBA China Games. It is the NBA's second visit to China in four years.

James finished with 17 points and three assists in 28 minutes. The Cavs got 16 from Larry Hughes and 12 from Shannon Brown. Jameer Nelson added 24 points for the Magic, while Hedo Turkoglu had 12 and Keith Bogans had 11.

"The game was very special," said Howard. "Chinese fans are great; they are passionate and really know basketball. I did enjoy the atmosphere; everything was terrific - though it was just a preseason game, fans made the arena electric."


The Cavs jumped to a 19-8 lead to start the game. James, who led the Cavs to the frachise's first-ever NBA Finals in June, was just as intense as he was in the playoffs in June.

The forward opened with two free throws with just under seven minutes left in the first quarter as he scored six points in a row.

Cleveland enjoyed a 34-20 lead after an 11-0 run in the second quarter, but the Magic closed the gap to 46-42 going into halftime.

In the third quarter, Howard continued the comeback battle with a pair of dunks. Jameer Nelson's ensuing finger-roll gave the Magic their first lead in the game at 53-52.

Turkoglu made a basket to give the Magic a two-point lead with 35 seconds left in the game and Nelson closed it out with two free throws in the final seconds.

NBA China Games 2007 is the league's second set of preseason games to be held in China. In 2004, the NBA became the first American professional sports league to stage games in China, with two match-ups between the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings in Shanghai and Beijing.


The NBA is also conducting a series of community outreach initiative this week alongside the Games as part of the NBA Cares program.

The teams, along with the China All-Stars Team, will participate in NBA Cares events and activities in both cities in partnership with Shanghai Sports Administration and Venetian Macao.

(China Daily October 18, 2007)

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