Magic 112, Raptors 72
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)
It was just that simple against the lowly Toronto Raptors.
Howard had 31 points and 19 rebounds, helping the Magic rout the reeling Raptors 112-72 on Friday night.
''I try to do the best I can to get my teammates involved, so they try to get my involved,'' Howard said. ''If I have it going on the inside, they continue to pound the ball inside.''
Howard went 12 for 21 from the field and had nine offensive rebounds, almost as many as Toronto had as a team (14). He outrebounded the Raptors' starting five (19-18) and dunked almost at will, scoring off what seemed like an endless stream of lobs from the Magic guards.
''There wasn't a whole lot of balance tonight, the ball just kept going to Dwight,'' Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. ''But, I mean, if they're going to give you layups at the basket, you're not really going to look for anything else.''
Howard earned his 31st double-double of the season and has scored at least 30 points in three of Orlando's last five games.
''Sometimes it looks like he's playing against high school kids out there,'' Anderson said. ''Actually, all the time it looks like he's playing against high school kids.''
Gilbert Arenas said it another way: ''Some of those young fellas over there looked like they were scared of him.''
The Raptors were within four in the third quarter, but the Magic dominated the rest of the game. They led 73-57 after three and outscored the Raptors 39-15 in the fourth.
Toronto beat the Magic 110-106 in Orlando in November, with Bargnani using an assortment of inside and outside shots to confound the Magic front court. Bargnani had 27 points in that one, but wasn't nearly as effective in the rematch.
The Raptors opted not to double team Howard for most of the game and paid the price for it. He had 17 points in the third quarter, allowing him to rest during the final period. His one blemish was a 7-for-13 night at the free-throw line.
''He's good, we're not,'' Raptors coach Jay Triano said. ''We're not a good rebounding team. It's a conscious effort to get it and we don't have a lot of guys that have a nose to go get the ball.''
Bargnani also was blunt about his team's recent woes.
''We're playing bad,'' he said. ''After every game it seems like we played worse. We have to find a way to stop this and play better.''
NOTES: The Magic tied a season low, allowing only 72 points. They held Memphis to the same total back on Nov. 15. ... Toronto's Joey Dorsey left in the third quarter with a sore right knee. ... Orlando PG Jason Williams played after missing the previous five games for personal reasons.