Howard`s big night helps Magic end five-game skid
Philadelphia: Orlando`s Dwight Howard was back to his dominating best on Saturday with 20 points and 22 rebounds as the Magic ended a five-game losing streak with an 88-82 victory over Eastern Conference rivals Philadelphia.
Howard, who earlier this week had reportedly called for coach Stan Van Gundy`s ouster, grabbed 11 points in the fourth quarter despite playing with back spasms.
"That`s the best I`ve felt of our team the entire year," Van Gundy told reporters. "They`ve played some better games . . . but for just fighting for a win and executing down the stretch and doing what we had to do, I haven`t felt better about our team all year."
Howard`s performance marked a major turnaround for the All-Star center, who scored only eight in a loss to New York on Thursday when Van Gundy told reporters he had been informed Howard wanted him gone.
Howard later denied seeking the coach`s dismissal.
Glen Davis added 23 points and 12 rebounds and J.J. Redick had 19 points, 11 in the fourth, for sixth-place Orlando, who moved three-and-a-half games ahead of Philadelphia in the East.
"I think Glen has played four excellent games in a row," Van Gundy said. "He`s been able to shut out all of the distractions. He`s not trying to do anything but play the game the best way he can and that`s it."
Howard`s free throw and two jumpers by Redick put Orlando in command for keeps after Philadelphia had gone ahead 73-72 with 6:26 to play.
Thaddeus Young came off the bench to score 20 for the 76ers, who have lost three in a row.
Philadelphia are still hot on the heels of Atlantic leaders Boston, who had an 86-72 win over the Indiana Pacers.
Paul Pierce scored 24 points for the Celtics to cool off the Pacers, who had knocked Oklahoma City out of first place in the Western Conference the previous night.
Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen combined for 25 points in the fourth quarter.
Danny Granger had 20 for Indiana, which had won four in a row.
The Los Angeles Lakers, playing without Kobe Bryant for the first time in two seasons, were blown out by the Phoenix Suns 125-105.
Bryant was forced to watch with an injured left shin. He was kicked in the shin last week against New Orleans and the pain in the area has increased, the Lakers said.
Shannon Brown had 24 points, 20 of them in the third period, for surprising Phoenix.
Pau Gasol carried Los Angeles with 30 points and 13 rebounds.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- See what can Maggi do to your health!
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- CBSE 12th Results 2015: CBSE Board Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic class 12th XII board exam Results 2015 date announced
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- CBSE Board 10th Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & Cbseresults.nic class 10th X board exam results 2015 date announced
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?