ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Dwight Howard had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic beat the Washington Wizards 121-94 on Wednesday night.
J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus added 16 points apiece to pull Orlando within a half-game of the idle Los Angeles Lakers for home-court advantage in case of a possible NBA finals rematch, the only thing really left at stake for the Magic. They've already clinched a third straight Southeast Division title and are locked into the Eastern Conference's No. 2 playoff seed.
Nick Young had 21 points, and Mike Miller scored 16 for the Wizards, who missed another chance for their first three-game winning streak in two years. Washington finished 1-3 against Orlando this season.
Don't tell Magic coach Stan Van Gundy this game didn't have much meaning.
After James Singleton made a jumper over Pietrus in the second quarter, Van Gundy threw his clipboard in disgust, stomped his foot and called timeout. He railed his players on the bench before picking up the clipboard and drawing up a play.
Business as usual.
The Magic responded with a 16-2 run capped by 3-pointers by Ryan Anderson and Pietrus to go ahead 46-33. The Wizards would come back quickly, trimming the lead to six at the half.
That wouldn't last.
The Magic went on a 16-4 spurt and ended the third quarter in dramatic fashion: Jason Williams made a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left. Then Matt Barnes stole a pass from Fabricio Oberto and batted the ball out to Williams, who converted a 26-footer at the buzzer to give the Magic a 19-point lead and throw the crowd into a frenzy.
A day after Cleveland coach Mike Brown said he intends to rest his players and is approaching the final regular-season games "as a high-level practice," the Magic are choosing to go full speed into the postseason. Orlando has won 16 of its last 19 games.
Van Gundy has said he won't sit players unless they're injured because the Magic, who use a deep bench, don't have anybody in the top 40 in minutes played. They also have a chance to catch the Lakers in the chance they meet in the finals.
Orlando and Los Angeles split the season series. The Magic will have to finish ahead of the Lakers in the standings because Los Angeles owns the tiebreaker with a better record against the East than Orlando has versus the West.
NOTES: Wizards F Al Thornton returned after missing the last seven games with a strained hip flexor. ... Magic G Vince Carter showed no signs of being slowed by injury after tweaking his right big toe during Tuesday's practice. ... The Wizards' last three-game winning streak came April 4-9, 2008.