Ryan's Place

Friday, December 23, 2005

Magic Lose to Lakers 88-104



From Sportsline.com:

Orlando played all but the first few minutes without forward Dwight Howard, who limped into the locker room 2:42 into the first quarter with a sprained right ankle. X-rays were negative, and it was unclear when Howard would be back in the Magic lineup.

Howard said he rolled his ankle after stepping on another player's foot.

"I twirled a little bit, but I'll be all right," he said.

Besides missing his 14.7 points and 13 rebounds, Howard's absence also opened up the middle for Mihm.

The 7-footer hit from inside and out, going 8-of-9. He didn't miss a shot until a 15-foot jumper with 4:51 left in the fourth quarter. He fouled out with 2:16 left.

Steve Francis led Orlando with 28 points and nine assists. Grant Hill had 13 points and eight rebounds, and DeShawn Stevenson had 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Lakers shot 49 percent from the field compared with 39.5 for Orlando.

"I think it's a problem of being in sync," Francis said. "When you sit on the bench for seven or eight minutes and come in the last three or four, it's kind of hard to get back in sync and in rhythm. For the guys that are out there we have to contribute at a higher rate."

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