Final Score: Orlando 113, LA Lakers 103
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
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
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 00:51:33 ET
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