Published November 20, 2014
Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu added 21 points and the Orlando Magic built a big first-half lead on their way to an easy 118-104 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.
Jason Richardson hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 for the Magic, who went 13 for 32 from 3-point range. Orlando came in leading the league in 3-pointers made and attempted.
Chase Budinger scored 19 points and Kevin Martin added 18 to lead the Rockets, who shot 39 percent (37 of 95).
The Magic pulled away in the second quarter, and led 68-51 at the break. Orlando shot 59 percent (26 of 44), went 8 for 17 from 3-point range and outrebounded the Rockets 27-18 in the first half.
All five Orlando starters made more than half their shots and reached double figures.
Houston's Chuck Hayes, the league's shortest starting center at 6-foot-6, flustered Howard for a while, forcing two early turnovers. Turkoglu flipped an alley-oop pass to Howard for a dunk, his first field goal, with 4:34 left in the opening quarter.
The Magic hit their first five 3-point attempts and led 34-26 by the start of the second. Ryan Anderson and Richardson then swished 3s early in a decisive 16-4 spurt.
Orlando hit 17 of its first 24 shots, while the Rockets made only 10 of their first 29. Howard cheered from the sideline as the Magic pushed the lead over 20 in the second quarter, scoring many of their points on layups and dunks.
Howard returned, and Hayes sparked a mild Houston rally by twice knocking the ball away from him. But Turkoglu swished a pullup jumper, Richardson scored in the lane and Orlando retook control.
Howard spun around Hayes for a reverse dunk five minutes into the third quarter as Orlando stayed comfortably ahead. Luis Scola scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting for Houston in the quarter — the rest of the Rockets went 6 for 19.
Orlando led 100-76 after three quarters and hordes of fans started filing out of the arena. Howard, Turkoglu and Nelson sat out the fourth quarter one night after the Magic routed Toronto 112-72 in Orlando.
The Magic shot 53 percent (46 of 87) in Saturday night's win.
NOTES: Howard has at least 10 rebounds and two blocks in 24 games this season. ... The Magic are 50-1 since the start of the 2008-09 season when shooting 50 percent or better. ... Orlando's 68 first-half points were a season-high for a Houston opponent. ... Rockets C Brad Miller missed his seventh straight game with soreness in his left knee, and coach Rick Adelman wasn't sure when the 7-footer might return to the lineup. "His knee just hasn't responded, so I really don't know," Adelman said. "We thought he might play this week, but so far, no." ... Hall of Fame centers Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing, who faced off in the 1994 NBA finals, watched the game at opposite ends of the court — Olajuwon from a midcourt seat and Ewing, now a Magic assistant, from the Orlando bench.