NBA Game Summary - Chicago at Orlando
(Wednesday, April 9th)
Final Score: Orlando 115, Chicago 83
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Orlando Magic pummeled the Chicago Bulls, 115-83, at Amway Arena.
Howard, who had averaged just 8.5 points in his past two games, now has 67 double-doubles on the season, just one shy of Shaquille O'Neal's franchise- best 68.
Rashard Lewis added 21 points, seven boards and four assists in an all-around effort for Orlando, which was coming off an ugly loss to the last place New York Knicks. Carlos Arroyo chipped in 13 points and Hedo Turkoglu added 12 points, six rebounds and eight assists in the win.
The Magic have already wrapped up the third spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
"I thought it was a very, very good performance tonight," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "And I thought, not only did we play well, but we had a real good focus on the things we need to do, first and foremost the rebounding.
Kirk Hinrich poured in a team-best 19 points for Chicago, which has dropped three straight and six of eight. The Bulls are out of playoff contention, having been plagued with inconsistent shooting the entire season.
"I think they're just a better team," said Bulls guard Ben Gordon. "We got within 10 and we were fighting hard, but they made another run and put the game out of reach."
Both clubs used a series of small runs in the first quarter to keep the game close, and it was tied at 26 after 12 minutes of play.
Orlando then surged ahead with a strong second quarter, using a 12-0 burst to grab a 38-32 lead. Chicago briefly stopped the bleeding with a pair of buckets by Aaron Gray, but the Magic answered with a 17-0 push, including 15 by Howard. He capped the rally with a three-point play, including a dramatic alley-oop dunk as the Magic opened a 51-36 edge.
It was a 62-49 Magic lead at the half, and 81-70 at the close of the third quarter. The Magic put the game away in the fourth, outscoring the Bulls 16-5 in the opening minutes. Turkoglu's driving layup with 7:44 remaining made it 97-75, and he later put his club over 100 with a running bank shot.
Gray ended with 13 points for the Bulls, while Gordon also donated 13 off the bench. Tyrus Thomas ended with 10 points.
Howard was 12-for-15 on field goals, but just 6-for-13 from the free-throw line...The Bulls were 4-for-17 from three-point range, while Orlando ended 9- for-26...The Magic have won all three meetings with the Bulls this season. The teams conclude their series Sunday in Chicago.
04/09 22:51:44 ET