Ryan's Place

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Magic Spank Knicks 111-87



From Sportsline.com:

Maybe Dwight Howard should come off the bench every night.

The second-year forward had 23 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes, and the Magic rolled over the New York Knicks 111-87 Wednesday night in Steve Francis' return to Orlando.

Howard, a 20-year-old drafted last year out of high school, missed the first start of his entire athletic career after showing up late for shootaround. He scored 10 points in the first quarter after entering the period with just 4:17 left -- many of them on putback dunks for three-point plays. He had started 149 straight games for Orlando.

"Traffic is traffic. But it's no excuse for me to be late," Howard said. "I'm a leader for the team and I can't be late for shootaround or anything. So it's my fault."

In his first game at Orlando since being traded last month, Francis had just two points in 11 minutes, all in the first quarter. Eddy Curry led New York with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Stephon Marbury added 12 points and five assists. Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson each added 12 points off the bench.

Orlando fans greeted Francis with a smattering of boos and applause during starting lineup announcements, but saw little of him later.

"I can't do anything about it. I am not in a position to demand minutes. I did not go through training camp with this team," Francis said.

"It was tough because I was wanting to play. But then again, looking at the whole time I have been here ... it has been up and down not really knowing where the minutes are going to come from."

Seven Orlando players scored in double figures, including Hedo Turkoglu (16 points), Darko Milicic (13), Jameer Nelson (13) and Keyon Dooling (11). Forward Trevor Ariza, acquired by the Magic in the Francis trade along with the expiring contract of Penny Hardaway, finished with 10 against his former team.

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