Dwight Howard had 24 points and 21 rebounds in his 20th career 20-20 game, and the Orlando Magic held on to beat the New York Knicks 114-109 on Wednesday night.
Hedo Turkoglu scored 33 points to lead the Magic, who bounced back from a 120-102 loss in Chicago on Tuesday, their worst defensive performance of the season. Orlando was in control most of the way before the Knicks used some clutch 3-point shooting to pull within two in the final 30 seconds.
Howard overwhelmed the undersized Knicks for most of the game, then Rafer Alston and Rashard Lewis hit big 3-pointers in the final 3 1/2 minutes after New York had chipped away. Lewis scored 17 points, while Alston and Courtney Lee each added 15.
Howard's final basket came when he caught a lob pass from Turkoglu and slammed it down while being fouled by Nate Robinson, Howard's dunk contest rival, converting the three-point play for a 106-97 advantage with 1:31 to play.
Yet the Magic couldn't relax until Robinson missed a 3-pointer with the Knicks trailing by four and under 15 seconds left.
It was Howard's sixth 20-20 game this season. The best chance for the Knicks, who play without a true center, may have been to ask Orlando assistant Patrick Ewing, their career scoring leader, to grab his No. 33 from the rafters and suit up to defend Howard.
Robinson overcame a slow start to score 32 for the Knicks, while Wilson Chandler had 27 and Al Harrington finished with 26. Larry Hughes was 1-of-6 from the field, falling to 4-for-22 since the Knicks acquired him from Chicago at the trade deadline.
Howard had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first quarter, helping Orlando take a 25-15 lead. Harrington and David Lee were a combined 7-of-15, but the rest of the Knicks missed all 13 shots, with Robinson off on all five attempts.
Turkoglu took over in the second, when the Magic made 12 of 17 shots (71 percent) and pushed their lead to as much as 17. He scored 10 points in the period and Orlando led 57-43 at the break.
Orlando pushed the lead back to 16 when Turkoglu's 3-pointer made it 72-56 with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the third, but Chandler hit three 3-pointers in the final 4:15 as the Knicks cut it to 81-71 heading to the fourth.
Notes:@ Howard waved his arms from the bench between the first and second quarters to encourage the cheers for Ewing when he was shown on the overhead scoreboard. ... The teams meet three more times between March 21 and April 10. ... Orlando took a 38-37 lead in the series. ... After reaching a buyout with Stephon Marbury on Tuesday, the Knicks have only 12 players on the active roster, and one of them is Cuttino Mobley, who has retired because of a heart condition.
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