Quick Recap: Magic – 113 Clippers – 87

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Orlando got off to a pretty nice start and took a 15-8 lead at the 5:28 mark which prompted the Clippers to call a timeout. The Clippers responded, scoring seven of the next nine points to cut the lead to 17-15. The Magic scored the next nine points on a nice running hook by Howard, another bucket by Howard, a three-pointer by Rashard Lewis and a couple of free throws by Matt Barnes, that pushed the lead out to 11. The Magic continued to get the ball to Howard and he finished the quarter with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Matt Barnes made some nice plays on the offensive end, hitting a three-pointer and driving into the lane for a layup, and drawing a foul on a drive. Baron Davis came off the bench for the Clippers and entered the game at Shooting Guard, playing alongside Steve Blake. Former Magic Power Forward Drew Gooden led the Clippers with 6 points and 5 rebounds.

The Magic topped what they did in the first quarter during the second quarter. The Magic had very good energy and continued to play smart, getting the ball into Dwight Howard, who finished the half with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. The Magic scored the last 11 points of the quarter to push their 56-41 lead to 67-41. The Magic were not as good from beyond the arc (3-of-8 as compared 4-of-7 in the first quarter), but got some good close looks and shut much better on two-pointers ( 10-of-16 as compared to 7-of-14) Dwight Howard had a few highlight reel plays and that doesn’t include his usual dunks. Howard had a beautiful running hook on a play that was well-defended. Howard also made a great pass to a cutting Mickael Pietrus for a dunk but the play of the day came in the last minute of the half. Brandon Bass, who had one of his best halves of the season (6 points, 5 rebounds), blocked a three-point attempt and Howard came up with the ball. Howard dribbled down the court, crossed over at the free throw line and found Bass for an open dunk. Howard, who also did an excellent job defending All-Star Chris Kaman, played the entire first half and told Paul Kennedy that it was a reward for not picking up a foul.

The two teams played a pretty ho-hum third quarter. Baron Davis heated up for the Clippers, scoring 10 points in the quarter. Jameer Nelson also had a good quarter. He scored 7 points and dished out 2 assists. Dwight Howards exited the game for the first time at the 3:43 mark with 22 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. The Magic were actually outscored 27-24 and ended the quarter with a 91-68 lead.

Orlando started the final quarter 7-2 run and pushed the lead to 28. It was mostly back and forth for the rest of the quarter as the teams both emptied their benches. Even Ryan Anderson and Anthony Johnson got into the action. Anderson got a dunk on his first offensive possession and wound up scoring 6 points and grabbing 3 rebounds. AJ failed to score but he did have an assist and a steal. The Magic outscored the Clippers 22-19 in the final quarter and came away with a 113-87 victory.

Baron Davis led the Clippers with 16 points. 11 players scored for the Magic and 6 of those 11 scored in double figures. Howard led the way with 22 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Jameer Nelson added 17 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).