Lakers vs. Magic final score: Dwight Howard dominates in return, LA wins 106-97


The Lakers big man followed Kobe Bryant's advice and took over the game in his return to Central Florida.

Dwight Howard gave his former fans a reminder of why they once loved him so much, as he led the Los Angeles Lakers past the Orlando Magic 106-97 on Tuesday night at Amway Center.

For more on this story, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post or Silver Screen and Roll

Kobe Bryant told the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year to go into the game with an assassin-like mentality and try to crush his former team, and the big man obliged as Howard dominated the game in vintage fashion with 39 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Bryant was quiet in his own regard with 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field, but contributed elsewhere with eight assists and seven rebounds.

Tobias Harris was literally all over the court for Orlando (18-47), scoring 17 points while adding 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 21 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field but shot just 1-for-6 from the three-point line.

The Lakers (34-31) moved to three games above .500 for the first time this season. They overcame a poor shooting performance from the free-throw line by shooting 46.6 from the field and scoring via easy looks inside, totaling 34 points in the paint.

Orlando shot just 39.8 percent from the field and struggled to find enough rhythm to mount a comeback.

Howard tied his own NBA record for free throw attempts in a regular season game with 39 as the Magic employed the "Hack-a-Howard" strategy late in the fourth quarter, and he made them pay by making 23 of his final 30 attempts to finish at a 64-percent mark.

More in the NBA:

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Tom Ziller: Revisiting the Dwight Howard trade

OPP: Dwight Howard returns to Orlando

RIP Brandon Knight: DeAndre Jordan's dunk of the year

What was Brandon Knight's actual mistake?

Derrick Rose should shut it down

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