Magic spoil Turkoglu’s return
Dwight Howard had 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks, and
the Orlando Magic spoiled Hedo Turkoglu’s return with a 118-99
victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Rashard Lewis added 21 points and Matt Barnes had 20 to help the
Magic cruise to their second straight win with some potent 3-point
shooting. Orlando was 14 for 30 from beyond the arc.
Turkoglu was showered with a mix of cheers and boos and scored
14 points in the arena where he was a fan favorite before parting
ways in the offseason. He also had four rebounds and four assists,
not nearly enough to prevent the Raptors from losing for the fourth
time in five games.
Led by their big man, the Magic turned things into a high-flying
They had a series of slams and blocks, with Howard starting
things in the first quarter with a two-handed, alley-oop dunk from
Vince Carter that took Toronto players crowded around the rim by
surprise. Howard had another high-flying slam in the second quarter
that started a three-point play on a pass Anthony Johnson just
lobbed up for grabs, letting his big man finish over Amir
Howard swatted shot after shot on the other end. He had fans
dodging balls in the stands at near the rate of the burritos being
chucked into seats with pressurized guns between timeouts by the
arena’s entertainment crew.
There were plenty more highlights.
Barnes sliced through the lane to add a one-handed, rim-rattler
that Chris Bosh didn’t have a chance to contest. Even with all the
powerful finishes that brought fans to their feet, Orlando could
only push its lead to 11 points early.
There was a familiar face that kept things close.
Not quite the pick-and-roll point forward who led the Magic in
scoring in the NBA finals last season, Turkoglu still managed to
get things done for Toronto. He was potent from outside and clever
at drawing fouls – 8-for-8 from the line in the first half – to
help the Raptors trim the deficit to five.
It was the first time Turkoglu played in Orlando since opting
out of the final year of his contract with the Magic, who acquired
Carter in a trade with New Jersey just prior. Orlando then sent
Turkoglu to Toronto in a sign-and-trade deal, parting ways with a
popular player who teammates called “Mr. Fourth Quarter” for his
This time, the Magic fared just fine without “Turk.”
A pair of 3-pointers by Lewis late in the half capped a Magic
run that made Turkoglu’s efforts disappear, going ahead 66-54 at
intermission. And before the Raptors could mount any kind of rally,
the Magic threw in a few more acrobatics.
Howard and Carter hooked up again in the third quarter, when
Orlando’s do-it-all center cut down the baseline, skied high to
take the pass and finished with a one-handed slam that pushed the
Magic’s lead to 81-64. And the rout was on.
NOTES: Turkoglu spent the last few minutes before the game
warming up on the Magic’s end of the court, taking shots with his
former teammates. … Magic reserve center Adonal Foyle was active
for the first time since he had arthroscopic surgery on his right
knee in October. … Raptors coach Jay Triano will participate in
the 2010 Vancouver Olympic torch relay Thursday.