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Magic rally late to down Lakers
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic didn't seem to miss their former All-Star center on Sunday night.
In Dwight Howard's first game against his former club, Arron Afflalo stole the show by netting a team-high 30 points, as the Orlando Magic upended the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-103, at Staples Center.
Jameer Nelson returned to the lineup after a one-game absence and registered a double-double with 19 points and 13 assists. Glen Davis chipped in 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Nikola Vucevic donated 17 points and 12 boards for the Magic, who snapped a three-game skid.
Kobe Bryant paced the Lakers with 34 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the setback, Los Angeles' fourth in its last six games.
Howard, who spent his first eight seasons in Orlando before landing in Los Angeles in a blockbuster four-team deal, tallied 21 points and 15 rebounds on Sunday, but his woeful 9-for-21 free-throw shooting plagued his new team late.
The former first overall pick captured NBA Defensive Player of the Year three straight times and made the All-Star team six times during his eight-year tenure with the Magic, but his public demands for a trade forced a tumultuous and public divorce with the Magic.
"It wasn't emotional," Howard said about playing his former team. "It just bothered us that we didn't play the way we needed to play."
The Magic, having seen Howard's struggles from the charity stripe during his time in Orlando, employed the "Hack-a-Howard" strategy throughout the second half to gain an advantage.
"I don't have any thoughts," a frustrated Howard added of being fouled by the Magic.
After Howard split a pair at the line to bring Los Angeles within one with just under 4 1/2 minutes remaining, Davis buried a jumper and J.J. Redick followed with a 3-pointer to extend the lead to six.
Howard then missed two at the stripe and Nelson made him pay by nailing a triple to make it a 98-89 contest with 3:20 remaining.
Another Nelson trey less than a minute later pressed the lead to 11 and the Magic led by double-digits the rest of the way en route to the victory.
The Lakers led by as many as nine in the first half, but Afflalo connected on a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to send the teams into the locker room locked at 52-52.
Neither team led by more than seven in the third, but a trio of triples from Metta World Peace helped the home team build a 77-73 lead heading into the fourth.
A 9-0 run from the Magic midway through the fourth helped them take a two- point lead, as Vucevic converted a three-point play to make it 86-84 with just under six minutes remaining in the contest.
World Peace now has 1,001 career 3-pointers ... LA fell to 7-5 at home this season ... Pau Gasol finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers ... Orlando shot 50 percent (43-of-86) from the field.
12/03 00:51:55 ET
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