June 19, 2018
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Howard scores 32 to lead Magic over Wizards 101-76

KYLE HIGHTOWERAssociated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Dwight Howard had 32 points and 10 rebounds for his 45th double-double of the season and the Orlando Magic beat the Washington Wizards 101-76 Wednesday night.

The Magic won their second straight game and head into the All-Star break winners of four of their last five. They are 10-1 in their last 11 games against teams with records below .500.

Jason Richardson added 16 points and Ryan Anderson chipped in 14 for Orlando, which led by as many as 27 points.

The Wizards have lost six of their last seven games and haven’t won two consecutive since mid-January.

John Wall scored 27 points and Andray Blatche had 15 points and nine rebounds for Washington.

Orlando blew the game open with a 20-4 run to start the third quarter that gave it a 68-43 lead at the 7:07 mark. Howard had 15 points in the period, including several uncontested dunks and layups as the Wizards fell into a familiar routine of poor shot selection and lackluster defense.

Over a 17-minute stretch from the 6:30 mark of the second quarter until 1:34 remained in the third, the Magic outscored the Wizards 50-20.

The Magic led 48-39 at the half, outscoring the Wizards 31-21 in the second quarter.

Howard was 6 for 8 from the floor and finished with a team-high 17 points in the opening 24 minutes. He got support from Anderson, who finished with 10 points, including a pair of 3’s.

Wall led all scorers with 19 points at the half, but had just one assist. The Wizards had only three assists as a team, but outrebounded the Magic 28-23 and outscored them 22-18 in the paint.

Both teams combined to shoot 15 for 49 from the field in a sloppy first quarter that ended with Washington leading 18-17.

Wall easily slipped by the Magic’s perimeter defense on his way to 13 points, including scoring the Wizards’ last six of the quarter.

Three of the Wizards’ post players (JaVale McGee, Hilton Armstrong and Kevin Seraphin) combined for five fouls on Howard in less than 7 minutes of action. But Howard picked up his second whistle of the night with 5:11 to play, when he was called for a questionable offensive foul for knocking over Wall.

Notes: Washington F Al Thornton left the game in the second quarter after re-injuring a dislocated right middle figure. … Wizards G Nick Young was inactive because of a sore left knee. … Wizards F Josh Howard played his second consecutive game after missing the previous 19 with a left knee injury.

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