Magic, Rockets advance

Rockets move on to second round

Associated Press / May 1, 2009
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Dwight Howard can trade the keyboard for hitting the boards. Orlando's big man will get to play again in the next round of the playoffs.

On a night the suspended Howard recorded a double-double in blog and Twitter posts from his hotel room, the Magic advanced to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, beating the 76ers, 114-89, last night in Philadelphia to take the series, 4-2.

He wrote on a postgame blog, "im soo proud man. yall have no clue."

Thankfully for the Magic, their shooting was more accurate than Howard's grammar.

"The only thing I said in the locker room before the game was, 'Be great,' " coach Stan Van Gundy said. "They wanted to prove something. They have great appreciation in that we would be where we are without Dwight."

Playing without Howard and injured guard Courtney Lee, the Magic thumped the Sixers from the start. Howard, who was suspended one game by the NBA for his elbow on Sixers center Samuel Dalembert in Game 5, will return when the Magic play the winner of the Celtics-Bulls series.

Rashard Lewis scored 29 points to lead the Magic. Orlando's decisive run came early when they made 12 of their first 19 shots.

The Magic's Hedo Turkoglu wasn't around to see the end of the game. He was hit with his second technical and was ejected after a fourth-quarter skirmish with Dalembert. Dalembert also got a technical but remained in the game.

Rockets 92, Trail Blazers 76 - Ron Artest scored 27 points, Yao Ming had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and host Houston beat Portland to reach the second round of the Western Conference playoffs for the first time since 1997.

Houston, which took the series, 4-2, put this one away with a big second quarter and moves on to play the top-seeded Lakers in Los Angeles Monday night.

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