NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A snow-related transportation problem got the Orlando Magic to the arena a little later than normal for their game against the New Jersey Nets.
They made up for it with a big second half from their big guy.
Dwight Howard had 17 of his 19 points and 10 of his 13 rebounds after the break, and the Magic won their third straight with a 104-88 victory Monday night.
Orlando hit a dozen 3-pointers and shot 49 percent from the field despite having the team show up less than 90 minutes before the game because one of its buses got stuck in a snow drift a couple of blocks from the team hotel in Hoboken.
``It was crazy,' Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. ``I didn't have to go through things like that when I was a small college coach. The roads in Hoboken were atrocious. We went past a lot of abandoned cars on our way here. The bus got stuck and our guys had to walk back to the hotel. It was a little crazy, to say the least. At least we got the game in. That was the key.'
The Magic have had two games postponed this season, one at Madison Square Garden because of an asbestos scare and another in the preseason because of a problem with the floor in St. Petersburg, Fla.
``We have survived two canceled games, a stomach flu bug and a stuck bus,' said Magic guard J.J. Redick, who added 15 points. ``It's been a weird year.'
Hedo Turkoglu scored 20 points as the Magic had six players in double figures in beating the Nets for the third time in three meetings this season.
Devin Harris had 24 points to lead New Jersey, which lost its second straight and for the eighth time in 11 games. Brook Lopez added 20.
Limited to two points and three rebounds after picking up three first-half fouls, Howard dominated the second half. The All-Star center made an effort to get inside after the Magic went the first half without taking a free throw.
Howard shot 11 free throws in the third quarter alone and the Magic finished with 19 attempts.
``I got a chance to play a little more,' Howard said. ``We picked up our defensive intensity and I just tried to be more aggressive. I was able to beat the double team and get to the line. If they played me 1-on-1, I was just aggressive and played with patience. We got the ball inside and played inside out.'
Nets coach Avery Johnson said Howard wasn't fooled by New Jersey's defenses.
``We gave him different looks but he just didn't buy into our double teams in the second half,' Johnson said. ``He split, went baseline on us and it kind of set the momentum of the whole spiral for us in the second half.'
The game-breaking run for Orlando came after New Jersey rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit and took a 57-55 lead on a 3-pointer by Travis Outlaw with 7:35 to play in the third quarter.
Turkoglu responded with a 3-pointer on Orlando's next possession and it triggered a 26-12 spurt the rest of the period. Howard had nine points in that run and Jason Richardson added eight of his 14 points.
The Nets were their own worst enemy in the closing minutes of the period, turning the ball over twice late while Jordan Farmar missed two free throws.
``We fought them pretty hard in the first half, the second half we came out and, for whatever reason, we were lethargic,' Harris said. ``We didn't have a lot of energy and they got to the spots and shot the ball well. They're a great shooting team, they move the ball well and they made shots and we didn't.'
Orlando put away the game in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, scoring the first nine points. Turkoglu started the run with a 3-pointer and Gilbert Arenas ended it with another.
Brandon Bass added 11 points for Orlando while Ryan Anderson had 10.
NOTES: Arenas had a three-quarter court heave at the halftime buzzer waved off because the ball hit the shot clock after bouncing off the rim and then going through. ...Turkoglu and Howard got first-half technical fouls. ... Patrons who braved the aftermath of a storm that dumped more than 2 feet of snow in the area will be allowed to exchange their tickets for a Nets' home game in January. ... Johnson said shooting guard Anthony Morrow will be out longer than the 2-3 weeks estimate with a hamstring injury.
The Associated Press News Service
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