Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/23

Game 1: Friday, November 23rd
Bobcats92Final
Magic105
Game 2: Friday, December 14th
Magic103Final
Bobcats87
Game 3: Saturday, December 29th
Bobcats95Final
Magic104
Game 4: Wednesday, January 16th
Magic93Final
Bobcats99

Magic 103

(17-7, 12-3 away)

Bobcats 87

(8-13, 7-6 home)

    Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

    7:00 PM ET, December 14, 2007

    Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 23 19 30 31103
    CHA 24 27 13 2387

    Top Performers

    Orlando: D. Howard 33 Pts, 18 Reb, 4 Blk

    Charlotte: R. Felton 18 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Magic use Howard to punish Bobcats, end losing streak

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Charlotte Bobcats finally addressed their biggest need Friday night by acquiring big man Nazr Mohammed.

    The timing of the trade, though, left the Bobcats as no match for one of the league's top centers.

    Dwight Howard had 33 points and 18 rebounds and the Orlando Magic beat the undermanned Bobcats 103-87 on Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

    Taking the court an hour after the trade that sent starting center Primoz Brezec and forward Walter Herrmann to Detroit for the 6-foot-10 Mohammed, Howard had his way inside.

    Not that the expansion Bobcats have ever been able to contain Howard since they entered the league at the same time in 2004. Mohammed may help, but few have been able to stop Howard.

    "Obviously we missed the big body tonight," coach Sam Vincent said. "We believe in the future that will make us a better team."

    Howard, who recorded his NBA-leading 20th double-double, would have had an even bigger night if not for 11-of-20 shooting from the free throw line. Howard was 11-of-16 from the field and had four blocks.

    Hedo Turkoglu added 22 points for the Magic, who improved to an NBA-best 12-3 on the road and snapped out of their recent doldrums after their surprising 16-4 start.

    But it took a while. The Bobcats built a 13-point lead early in the third quarter. Coach Stan Van Gundy may have worn a microphone for the national television game, but little could likely be used in a family broadcast.

    "You can't play lethargic in this league and expect to win," Van Gundy said. "We've been doing that lately."

    After falling behind 55-42, the energy returned. The Magic outscored Charlotte 34-9 over the next 13 minutes. And they did it by going inside. Orlando had 50 points in the paint and held a 45-36 rebounding advantage.

    "He questioned our toughness, which he should have done," Magic guard Jameer Nelson said of his coach.

    Raymond Felton scored 18 points, and Gerald Wallace added 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting for Charlotte, which lost for the ninth time in 11 games. Emeka Okafor had 16 points and 12 rebounds, but was again outplayed by Howard in a matchup of the top two picks in the 2004 draft.

    Brezec, who was told of the trade as he was warming up, was replaced in the starting lineup by Ryan Hollins. He picked up three fouls in five minutes, forcing little-used Othella Harrington to guard Howard for long stretches without success.

    It left the Bobcats waiting for Mohammed's arrival. They were hoping he'd fly to Charlotte on Saturday, take a physical and fly to Atlanta in time for Saturday's game against the Hawks.

    "I think he's going to give us a presence inside, and hopefully more of a defensive stopper," guard Matt Carroll said.

    The Bobcats, who shot over 50 percent for the first time this season Wednesday in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, shot 56 percent in the first half. Felton's long jumper capped an 18-4 run and put Charlotte ahead 55-42 early in the third quarter.

    Then Turkoglu hit consecutive 3-pointers and Orlando took control.

    The lead would have been larger had Orlando not missed 12 of its first 17 free throws. Howard was the biggest culprit, missing eight of his first nine.

    Howard, though, made his final five attempts, ending any hopes of a Charlotte comeback.

    "I don't know what was going on tonight," Howard said. "I was shooting them hard, shooting them soft. But the main thing was, at the end of the game I tried to make my free throws as best as I could."

    Game notes


    Magic G Carlos Arroyo missed his second straight game with a sore left foot. While an MRI on Thursday was negative, Arroyo was having difficulty walking and said he'd likely also miss Saturday's game against Memphis. "I can't go out there and pivot, jump, move or run," Arroyo said. ... The Bobcats were featured all day on ESPN, which televised the game. Even the morning shootaround was covered live as part of an "all-access" concept suggested by Bobcats owner Bob Johnson.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    ORL
    CHA
    Points 103 87
    FGM-FGA 37-69 (.536) 36-79 (.456)
    3PM-3PA 7-24 (.292) 5-19 (.263)
    FTM-FTA 22-38 (.579) 10-20 (.500)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-23 8-18
    Assists 20 24
    Turnovers 16 14
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 6 1
    Fast Break Points 11 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (2/0) 29 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 16 13

    Top Performers

    Orlando
    Charlotte
    Dwight Howard Howard
    Points: 33
    Reb: 18
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 4
    Raymond Felton Felton
    Points: 18
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0