ORLANDO, Fla. – Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis scored 20 points apiece and the Orlando Magic overcame Dwight Howard's foul trouble to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 98-88 on Thursday night.
Philadelphia 76ers forward Marreese Speights, center, is grabbed by Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson, right, as Orlando Magic's Tony Battie (4) jumps to block during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008.
(AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
With All-Star center Howard limited to only four minutes in the first half, the Magic got strong performances from Tony Battie and Lewis, who picked up the rebounding slack as Orlando won its third straight game.
Thaddeus Young scored 19 points for Philadelphia, which placed four players in double figures. The Sixers cut a 23-point deficit to six in the fourth quarter but couldn't draw closer.
Howard was called for two fouls in the first 2 minutes and was replaced by Battie, who had six points in the first quarter as the Magic built a 30-16 lead. Howard started the second quarter but quickly picked up his third foul and was taken out of the game.
With Howard on the sideline, the Sixers were able to control the boards, a necessary advantage because of their poor shooting. Philadelphia, which made only 38 percent of its shots in Wednesday's 106-83 loss at Miami, shot 35 percent in the first half and trailed 54-43 at halftime.
Howard stayed out of foul trouble in the third and the Magic opened up a 23-point lead. Orlando, which normally has Jameer Nelson and Turkoglu work the pick-and-roll late in games, went to Nelson and Howard instead. Philadelphia fouled Howard repeatedly, but he hit only two of eight free throws down the stretch as the Sixers stayed close.
After committing 26 turnovers against Miami, Philadelphia was more careful against the Magic and finished with only 14 turnovers. The Sixers outrebounded the Magic 54-46 but shot only 38 percent.
Nelson had a season-high 16 points for Orlando, and Howard scored seven of his 14 points in the fourth.
Battie, who finished with eight points and six rebounds in 22 minutes, missed all of last season with a shoulder injury and broke his left ring finger early in training camp. He'd been averaging 2.3 points and 14 minutes. The 12-year forward out of Texas Tech has been the only big man beside Howard and Lewis to see any significant minutes this season.
Philadelphia's Elton Brand, who had a double-double in four of the first five games, had 12 rebounds but scored six points. Samuel Dalembert had 10 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Andre Iguodala finished with 16 points, 11 boards and eight assists.