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article imageNBA: Magic knocks of Suns 111-88 without Nash, Frye

By Kristofor Molson     Mar 14, 2011 in Sports
Phoenix - Steve Nash and Channing Frye sat out yesterday’s game against the Orlando Magic due to injuries, and the Suns missed its two-time MVP Nash and long range shooter in Frye. The Suns tried to hold their own but Dwight Howard was just too much in the paint.
The Orlando Magic (42-25) is coming off a record breaking overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors (30-36) a couple of nights ago to face the Phoenix Suns (33-31). This is was the third game of a five game road trip for the Magic, and the second time these two teams meet this season. This is the first time these two teams met since the Dec. 18th trade that swapped a total of six players.
Orlando jumped out to an early 7-2 lead with a 3-pointer from Richardson, and Howard made back-to-back dunks to give the Magic an 11-6 lead. Carter made two free-throws to cut it to three, but the Magic pushed their lead eight with a 9-2 spurt. The Suns ended the period with Dudley scoring a jumper that cut the Magic lead to six.
The Suns opened the second quarter by cutting the Magic lead to one with a 7-2 spurt that had Orlando calling a timeout. Orlando answered with ten straight points to push their lead to ten, and Phoenix calling a timeout with the score 46-36.
Arenas hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make the score 52-38 and Nelson added two more with a jumper. Carter hit a 3-pointer to make it a ten point game, then Brooks made it a eight point game with a jumper of his own. Gortat cut it to six after a Magic timeout, but five quick points by the Howard that included a 3-point play made it an 11 point lead. The Magic took a nine point lead into halftime after Howard made a pair of free-throws to make it 61-52.
Dwight Howard had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Magic. Brandon Bass scored 17 points with six rebounds and Hedo Turkoglu 13 points with seven rebounds and two assists. Jameer Nelson scored 14 points and Jason Richardson scored 10 points with eight rebounds, and three assists.
The Magic had to double-digit scores off the bench with Gilbert Arenas scoring 16 points with five rebounds, and Ryan Anderson adding 11 points with six rebounds.
Aaron Brooks led the Suns in Steve Nash’s absence with 19 points and 10 assists. Brooks made 8 of 10 shots, and had seven assists, in a 19-point first half. The former Magic’s Vince Carter scored 11 points against his former team along with Mickael Pietrus scoring 14 points, and Marcin Gortat chipped in with 12 points.
Orlando kept the pressure on the Suns to open the second half with a 7-2 spurt that made the score 68-54. Carter made it a 70-60 game with a jumper, but a Richardson free-throw and a Bass jumper pushed it to a 13 point lead. The Magic got their lead to 14 off a Turkoglu 3-pointer. Orlando finished the period on an 11-1 lead that included a score by Howard that gave him topped 10,000 career points. The Magic dominated the Suns in a oppressive third quarter that had the Magic outscoring them 26-13.
Orlando opened the fourth quarter with an 8-2 run that if combined with the end of the third was a 19-3 run. The Magic had an early 28 point lead early in the fourth quarter off that run, and Howard sat on the bench for the entire quarter. The teams had a scoring frenzy in the middle of the quarter, but they both later cooled off.
Mickael Pietrus scored the Suns' five points that made it a 23 point win instead of the 28 points they were up by earlier.
The Suns still have a chance to make the playoffs with about 18 games left in the season. They are sitting in the ninth spot, and are two and half games behind the Memphis Grizzlies (36-31) for the final spot.
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