TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
  • Home
National Basketball Association
<    December    >
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

 
                    === 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.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 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