Orlando ends slump by pounding Bobcats


Published: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 4:01 a.m.
ORLANDO - The Orlando Magic solved one problem and will have to wait for the answer on another.
Dwight Howard had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Magic took advantage of the injury-riddled Charlotte frontcourt for a 108-92 victory over the Bobcats on Saturday night.
The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Magic, but they won without Grant Hill, who was put on the inactive list before the game with a groin strain. That is the same injury that forced Hill to have surgery in October and miss the first 19 games of the season.
He will accompany the team on a four-game West Coast trip that begins Tuesday in Los Angeles, but his status is day-to-day.
"I want to say that I feel great, I really do, but honestly, I don't know when I'll be ready to play," Hill said. "I hope I'll feel good enough to go (Tuesday), but we'll have to wait and see how it feels then."
The Magic didn't need him against the Bobcats, who have some severe injury problems of their own. Charlotte played with three guards on the floor most of the game because of injuries to four of their big men, including Emeka Okafor and Jake Voskuhl.
Howard and Tony Battie combined to hit 15 of 19 shots against the undersized Bobcats. Battie had 16 points and 12 rebounds, both season highs, while Howard posted his 23rd double-double this season.
"We knew they were going to be undersized down low so we tried to take advantage of the mismatches," Howard said.
Charlotte led 50-49 at halftime, but the Bobcats were outscored 32-10 in the decisive third quarter. They trailed by as many 25 in the fourth quarter, never mounting a serious run.
All five Magic starters were in double figures as Orlando shot 56 percent from the field and outscored the Bobcats 58-24 in the paint. Guards Steve Francis and Jameer Nelson each had 18 points and six assists and DeShawn Stevenson added 16 points.
Steve Francis had 18 points and six assists for the Magic, who .
ORLANDO - Dwight Howard had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic took advantage of the injury-riddled Charlotte frontcourt for a 108-92 victory over the Bobcats on Saturday night.
Tony Battie added 16 points and 12 rebounds, both season highs, as Orlando broke a three-game losing streak.
The Magic placed forward Grant Hill on the inactive list with a strained groin. Hill reinjured himself against New Jersey on Friday night and is listed day-to-day.
Reserve Keith Bogans scored a season-high 22 points for Charlotte. The undermanned Bobcats played without injured big men Emeka Okafor, Jake Voskuhl, Melvin Ely and Sean May, and were outrebounded 47-33.
Charlotte has lost four straight. Charlotte relied on its quickness in the first half, beating the Magic off the dribble and getting good shots for Jumaine Jones and Gerald Wallace, who had nine points apiece as the Bobcats built a 50-49 halftime lead.
It all fell apart after halftime. The Magic outscored the Bobcats 33-10 in the third quarter, finishing off the period with a 27-4 run that put Orlando ahead 82-60. Battie had eight points and six rebounds as the Magic shot 71 percent (12-of-17) in the period.
n NOTES: Voskuhl, who played for the first time in 15 games Wednesday against Boston, was on the active list, but didn't play because of a swollen knee. ... Charlotte guard Brevin Knight left the game with back spasms with 2:03 left in the third period. He did not return. ... Magic F Hedo Turkoglu was ejected with 9:33 left in the game after receiving his second technical. ... Magic F Bo Outlaw, who played only once in the last 13 games, saw 19 minutes of action. He scored five points and had three rebounds.

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