Magical night in Sacramento for Howard, Orlando
SACRAMENTO – Dwight Howard had 30 points and 16 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic used a big run to open the fourth quarter and beat the Sacramento Kings 109-88 on Tuesday night.
Ryan Anderson started the 18-4 run with a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the quarter to give the Magic a 79-78 lead. Orlando just built on it from there, holding Sacramento to just one field goal in the first 7:14 of the period.
Howard’s dunk upped the lead to 10 points midway through the quarter and Mickael Pietrus’ layup capped the 18-4 run, giving Orlando a 94-82 lead.
Tyreke Evans scored 18 points and Beno Udrih added 15 for Sacramento, which was outscored 31-10 in the fourth quarter.
Pietrus added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Anderson scored 12 and former Kings point guard Jason Williams had 12 points and six assists. The Magic have won two straight following a four-game losing streak and got off to a good start on a tough four-game road trip that will also send them to Denver, Portland and Los Angeles to play the Lakers.
The day started off well for the Kings, who found out that star guard Kevin Martin has been cleared to practice after missing more than two months with a left wrist injury. Martin could return to game action as early as Friday. But they could not keep up the good news in the fourth quarter against the Magic, falling for the sixth time in seven games.
Evans shot just 1 for 10 in the first half as he struggled to get going. But he began to find his stroke in the third quarter by going to the basket. Evans made all four of his shots in the third, including a 3-pointer. The Kings took a 78-76 lead into the fourth, but that didn’t last long.
Howard scored 13 points in the first quarter and didn’t score again until midway through the third. But he dominated the game late as the Kings had nobody to match up with his strength inside.
The Kings went on a 14-3 run late in the second quarter to take a nine-point lead, sparked by the energy of reserve rookie forward Jon Brockman. But J.J. Redick’s buzzer-beater off an inbound pass with 0.3 seconds left cut Sacramento’s lead to 55-51 at the break.
NOTES: Magic swingman Vince Carter missed his second straight game with a left shoulder injury. Coach Stan Van Gundy said Carter is feeling “a little better” but is still “not good enough” to play. … Kings F Donte Greene returned after missing two games with a sprained right ankle. … Newly acquired big man Hilton Armstrong did not dress the day after being traded to the Kings from New Orleans. He could play Friday in Philadelphia.