NBA roundup

Orlando getting in gear

Magic win 3d straight after bus escapes snow

Associated Press / December 28, 2010

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A snow-related transportation problem got the Orlando Magic to the arena a little later than normal for their game against the New Jersey Nets.

They made up for it with a big second half from their big guy.

Dwight Howard had 17 of his 19 points and 10 of his 13 rebounds after the break, and the Magic won their third straight with a 104-88 victory last night in Newark, N.J.

Orlando hit a dozen 3-pointers and shot 49 percent from the field despite having the team show up less than 90 minutes before the game because one of its buses got stuck in a snow drift a couple of blocks from the team hotel in Hoboken.

“It was crazy,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I didn’t have to go through things like that when I was a small-college coach. The roads in Hoboken were atrocious. We went past a lot of abandoned cars on our way here. The bus got stuck and our guys had to walk back to the hotel. It was a little crazy, to say the least. At least we got the game in. That was the key.’’

The Magic have had two games postponed this season, one at Madison Square Garden because of an asbestos scare and another in the preseason because of a problem with the floor in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“We have survived two canceled games, a stomach flu bug and a stuck bus,’’ said Magic guard J.J. Redick, who added 15 points. “It’s been a weird year.’’

Hedo Turkoglu scored 20 points as the Magic had six players in double figures in beating the Nets for the third time in three meetings this season.

Devin Harris had 24 points to lead New Jersey, which lost its second straight and for the eighth time in 11 games. Brook Lopez added 20.

Limited to 2 points and three rebounds after picking up three first-half fouls, Howard dominated the second half.

Howard shot 11 free throws in the third quarter alone and the Magic finished with 19 attempts.

“I got a chance to play a little more,’’ Howard said.

Mavericks 103, Thunder 93 — Visiting Dallas lost Dirk Nowitzki to a knee injury in the second quarter but beat Oklahoma City for its 17th victory in 18 games. Nowitzki scored 13 points before leaving with 9:10 left in the second with what the Mavericks said was a sore right knee. Shawn Marion led the effort to replace him, scoring 20 points off the bench.

Dallas improved to 11-1 on the road this season, best in the NBA, and 24-5 overall.

Hawks 95, Bucks 80 — Al Horford had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Joe Johnson added 15 points as Atlanta snapped a five-game road losing streak.

Timberwolves 113, Hornets 98 — Michael Beasley had 30 points, 9 rebounds, and a career-high 7 assists to lead host Minnesota.

Chris Paul had 22 points and 13 assists for the Hornets, who lost their seventh straight road game and are 7-12 after starting the season 11-1.

Bobcats 105, Pistons 100 — D.J. Augustin scored 27 points, Stephen Jackson added 23, and new-look, uptempo Charlotte held on to give interim coach Paul Silas a victory in his debut. With Silas using new combinations and forcing the pace after replacing the fired Larry Brown last week, the host Bobcats built a 23-point lead and then nearly wasted it all.

“I just think it was a good beginning,’’ said Silas, who hadn’t coached since getting fired by Cleveland in 2005. “I’m so happy we pulled this one out because if we hadn’t it would have been a problem.’’

Rockets 100, Wizards 93 — Kevin Martin scored 20 points as host Houston won its fifth straight game. Andray Blatche had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who dropped to 0-15 on the road this season and have lost 10 of 11 overall.

Grizzlies 96, Raptors 85 — Zach Randolph scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and Tony Allen made six steals to help Memphis win at home.

Trail Blazers 96, Jazz 91 — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points and Marcus Camby grabbed 12 rebounds to help Portand to a road victory.

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