Monday, December 27, 2010
NBA Wrap: Howard's double-double leads Magic over Nets
They made up for it with a big second half from their big guy.
Dwight Howard had 17 of his 19 points and 10 of his 13 rebounds after the break, and the Magic won their third straight with a 104-88 victory Monday night.
Orlando hit a dozen 3-pointers and shot 49 percent from the field despite having the team show up less than 90 minutes before the game because one of its buses got stuck in a snow drift a couple of blocks from the team hotel in Hoboken.
"It was crazy," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I didn't have to go through things like that when I was a small college coach. The roads in Hoboken were atrocious. We went past a lot of abandoned cars on our way here. The bus got stuck and our guys had to walk back to the hotel. It was a little crazy, to say the least. At least we got the game in. That was the key."
The Magic have had two games postponed this season, one at Madison Square Garden because of an asbestos scare and another in the preseason because of a problem with the floor in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"We have survived two canceled games, a stomach flu bug and a stuck bus," said Magic guard J.J. Redick, who added 15 points. "It's been a weird year."
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) D.J. Augustin scored 27 points, Stephen Jackson added 23 and the new-look, uptempo Charlotte Bobcats held on to beat the Detroit Pistons 105-100 on Monday night to give interim coach Paul Silas a victory in his debut.
With Silas using new combinations and forcing the pace after replacing the fired Larry Brown last week, the Bobcats built a 23-point lead and then nearly wasted it all.
Ben Gordon missed two tying 3-point attempts in the closing seconds before Tyrus Thomas' two free throws with 1 second left finally put it away for the Bobcats, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
Charlie Villanueva scored 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting for the Pistons, who lost their second straight.
The Bobcats made Silas sweat out the victory in his first game on the bench since he was fired by Cleveland more than five years ago. Silas, a former Clippers, Hornets and Cavaliers coach who had been living in the Charlotte area, had been assisting his neighbor coach 13- and 14-year-old kids when owner Michael Jordan called last week.
The Pistons, seemingly out of it after Charlotte's dominant second quarter, got within 101-100 on Chris Wilcox's two free throws with 1:01 left. Thomas responded with a putback of Augustin's missed layup and a block of Will Bynum's layup on the next two possessions.
Augustin then let the shot clock run down too far before feeding Boris Diaw for a forced 3-pointer that didn't hit the rim with 14 seconds left.
MILWAUKEE (AP) Al Horford and the Hawks opened a huge early lead by knocking down shot after shot. The Bucks tried to rally, but Atlanta responded each time.
Back in Milwaukee, the Hawks were impressive again.
Horford had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Joe Johnson added 15 points and Atlanta beat Milwaukee 95-80 on Monday night to snap a five-game road losing streak.
"It's nice to watch when we're sharing the ball, different guys are getting involved. When we play like that, it seems like we're at our best," Horford said.
The Hawks (20-13) returned to Milwaukee for the first time since winning a pivotal Game 6 in the first round of the playoffs to send the series back to Atlanta where they won to advance.
They got it done this time by opening a double-digit lead in the first quarter and shooting 50.7 percent from the field for the game.
"There's going to be some games where it's going to take grinding it out, being a little bit more selective on the offensive end and doing a good job in transition, not allowing the opposition to get that running game going," Hawks coach Larry Drew said.
John Salmons scored 18 for the Bucks, who struggled in their first home game after a successful Western Conference trip.
Milwaukee (12-17) put together an 8-1 run in the second half to close to 61-53, but Josh Smith, who finished with 13 points, responded with a jumper that restored Atlanta's double-digit lead.
Salmons, who had 12 points in the third, hit a 3 that cut it to 69-62, but the Bucks' rally fizzled. Marvin Williams made a long jumper and Johnson added a fadeaway that made it 77-67 heading into the fourth.
"Once we answered them, that sort of took a little wind out of their sails, we locked in defensively in that fourth quarter and made it tough," said Atlanta's Jason Collins, who finished with 12 rebounds.
Milwaukee failed to mount a run in the final quarter, and the lackluster play continued.