The Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. – Dwight Howard Howard had 21 points and eight rebounds in a bruising battle with Shaquille O’Neal as the Orlando Magic beat the Phoenix Suns 111-99 on Tuesday night.
Rashard Lewis had 29 points and Hedo Turkoglu scored 22 for the Magic, who overcame a season-high 24 turnovers.
O’Neal finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, outmuscling his first NBA team for most of the night before he lost his cool late, drawing boos by the Orlando crowd. His technical foul with 3:38 left contributed to nine straight points for the Magic that gave Orlando a 10-point lead to put the game out of reach.
Jason Richardson had 27 points, and Steve Nash added 20 points for Phoenix after missing the last three games with a sprained right ankle.
But it was the past and present Magic big men who mixed it up most of the night.
With nearly 600 pounds of All-Stars banging on the inside, bodies were flying. On one play in the third quarter Howard backed down O’Neal, sent him to the floor flopping and dunked over the 325-pounder.
Also in the NBA
n Pistons 100, Nuggets 95: Detroit won its third in a row, after a seven-game losing streak, despite a season-high 34 points for Denver’s Chauncey Billups, who started the season with the Pistons. Denver has lost five of its last seven.
n Nets 99, Bucks 95: Brook Lopez scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Jarvis Hayes hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to lift New Jersey.
n Bobcats 96, Bulls 80: Raymond Felton had 18 points and nine assists, Raja Bell also scored 18 points and Charlotte won its season-high fourth straight.
n Rockets 107, Raptors 97: Carl Landry matched a career high with 22 points as Houston extended its home-court winning streak to 10 games. Yao Ming added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets.
n Warriors 118, Timberwolves 94: Stephen Jackson, who had been benched the past two games as part of coach Don Nelson’s youth movement, had 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists to lead Golden State.
Top 25 men
n No. 7 Duke 84, No. 24 Florida State 81: Gerald Henderson scored nine of his 21 points in the final 2 minutes for the Blue Devils (25-5, 11-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
They won their fifth straight, matched the NCAA record for most wins in a decade with 286 and moved a half-game behind No. 2 North Carolina in the league standings.
Toney Douglas scored 27 points for the Seminoles (22-8, 9-6).
n No. 8 Michigan 64, Indiana 59: Kalin Lucas scored 15 points and Raymar Morgan had 14, including a crucial dunk with 27.5 seconds left for the Spartans (24-5, 14-3), who claimed their first outright Big Ten title since 1999.
n No. 10 Wake Forest 65, Maryland 63: Al-Farouq Aminu had 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (23-5, 10-5), who took control with a 6-0 run in the final minute.