Thunder Vs. Magic: Dwight Howard Explodes In Third Quarter

Dwight Howard had a quiet first half, entering halftime with nine points but only three rebounds and zero blocks. He exploded in the third quarter, though, scoring 16 points with five rebounds and a block. He picked up two points on a monster putback jam that followed a textbook screen he set for Jameer Nelson:

Orlando entered halftime with a slim 53-50 lead, in part because they shot 6-for-12 from beyond the three-point line. They missed all five of their long-distance attempts in the third, but it didn't matter. With Howard going nuts, the Magic scored 20 points in the paint in the third quarter alone, extending their lead to 81-70 entering the final frame.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook once again did all the heavy lifting for the Thunder in the third quarter with seven and eight points, respectively. But continuing a trend from the first half, the rest of the team did almost nothing: nobody else scored more than two. If OKC is going to win its first game in Orlando since moving from Seattle, somebody else on this team must step up.

For more on the two teams, check out Oklahoma City Thunder blog Welcome To Loud City and Orlando Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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