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Howard works the Magic on Wizards
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Dwight Howard's dominant play led the Orlando Magic to their fourth consecutive victory, a 106-81 home win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday.

Howard scored a season-high 31 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked three shots to help the Magic (4-2) take over second place in the Southeast Division after a 0-2 start.

Orlando built a 58-39 halftime lead and blew the game open in the third quarter when Howard scored 12 points.

"Dwight was outstanding," Magic coach Stan van Gundy told reporters. "I've seen him have numbers like that before but I'm not sure he's played a better game since I've been here."

Van Gundy was especially pleased with his center's patience. "He wasn't forcing anything, he was making great plays and passes and letting the game come to him. Two turnovers in 35 minutes....It was a real great game for him and he just looked like a more mature professional guy."

In other National Basketball Association games, it was: Pacers 98, Nets 80 Hornets 100, Heat 89 Suns 104, Bucks 96 Cavaliers 106, Bulls 97 and Trail Blazers 97, Timberwolves 93.

In Orlando, Florida, Mickael Pietrus added 18 points and Keith Bogans had 13, all in the first half. Bogans also drew praise from van Gundy for his defensive effort in the first two periods. "I didn't do anything different," Bogans said. "I do what I do every game."

Washington (0-5), last-placed in the Southeast Division and the only Eastern Conference team without a win this season, was paced by Nick Young with 20 points.

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan did not play any of his regulars in the fourth quarter.

Washington's top two scorers, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, were held to 10 and seven points.

(Agencies via Shanghai Daily November 10, 2008)

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