ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—Dwight Howard had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and J.J. Redick added 18 points and a career-high nine assists as the Orlando Magic ran past the Indiana Pacers 107-94 on Sunday night.
The Magic played without starters Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, but seemed unfazed as they built a 20-point lead in the first half and got 30 points from their reserves.
Orlando has won four out of its last five, and also earned a 3-1 season series victory over Indiana.
Paul George led the Pacers with 22 points, Tyler Hansbrough added 19 and Danny Granger 18.
The Pacers lost their fourth straight game and will try to avoid their second five-game losing streak of the season Tuesday when they host Portland.
Richardson sat with a sprained left ankle and Turkoglu was out serving a one-game suspension for making contact with a referee in last week’s win over Chicago.
Orlando flourished without them, though, thanks to the strong efforts of replacements Redick and Quentin Richardson and an equally active night by the Magic on defense.
Howard did his damage in just 37 minutes of action and also connected on 8 of 12 attempts from the free-throw line.
The Pacers certainly were accomplices in the Magic’s production on both ends, and as though they had some leftover fatigue from their overtime loss Saturday night at Miami.
Indiana cut a huge Magic first-half lead to single digits early in the third quarter before watching it balloon back above 20 points late in the period, connecting on just 1 of 12 3-pointers overall.
Orlando was 10 for 27 from beyond the arc to offset being outscored 50-36 in the paint.
The Magic led by as many as 24 in the first half before seeing their lead trimmed to just 11 at halftime.
Howard topped all scorers with 15, but he got help from both Redick (12) and Chris Duhon off the bench with nine.
George had 13 for Indiana to keep the Pacers close. They did it despite their bench contributing just four points in the opening 24 minutes, compared to 15 by their Magic counterparts.
Notes: Howard and Hansbrough received double technical fouls early in the fourth quarter after a brief verbal exchange following a play. It was Howard’s eighth tech of the season. … Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that even if Howard remains in Orlando past Thursday’s trade deadline, it won’t end the speculation around his team. “There won’t be closure,” Van Gundy said. “There’s closure, I guess, if he goes. If he stays, it just starts all over again. Just start the clock again. You’re right back where you started from the day the playoffs ended last year, like Groundhog Day.” … The Pacers played Sunday without G George Hill, who sat out his second consecutive game with a sprained left shoulder.
Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap?gid=2012031119]Yahoo Sports[/url]
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