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kriD
11-22-2006, 02:52 PM
Howard is seeing 20/20

He could become the first player in 15 years to have 3 20-point, 20-rebound games in a row.

Tim Povtak | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted November 22, 2006

It was almost three hours after the Orlando Magic's practice had ended, and everyone else was long gone before Dwight Howard finally emerged Tuesday from the RDV Sportsplex.

There is a reason Howard is flirting with greatness. Practice was practice, but for him, there were extra shots to take, more weights to lift, knees to ice and a long, therapeutic massage to make the soreness go away.

Tonight against the Indiana Pacers, he wants to be Superman again.

Howard, 20, wants to become the first NBA player in 15 years to record three consecutive games of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, a benchmark for a dominating big man.

"I'm just trying to do the best I can to help us win games," he said Tuesday after finally emerging. "If I can dominate around the boards, we can win games. And that's the goal."

Although Howard had 24 points and 23 rebounds Monday night in Memphis against the Grizzlies, the ending was disappointing for the Magic, dampening Howard's second consecutive 20/20 night. After leading much of the game, the Magic disappeared in the final five minutes, allowing the Grizzlies to prevail and snap Orlando's four-game winning streak.

His performance Monday allowed him to take the NBA rebounding lead (14.1 per game) over the Toronto Raptors' Chris Bosh. Howard is trying this season to become the youngest player in NBA history to win a rebounding title. Before Howard on Monday, the last player to record back-to-back 20/20 games was Tim Duncan during the 2002-03 season. Duncan, though, never has produced three in a row.

Shaquille O'Neal, when with the Lakers, had nine 20/20 games in the 1999-00 season, the most by anyone in the past 10 years. Kevin Willis had 12 in the 1991-92 season, the most in the NBA in the past 20 years.

Howard has three of those games in the first month. He had 21 points and 22 rebounds in a victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 11. He had 24 points and 21 rebounds Saturday in a victory over Charlotte.

O'Neal holds the Magic record for most rebounds in a season (1,122), averaging 13.9 rebounds (1992-93). Howard was second in the NBA last season when he averaged 12.5.

"Dwight is just doing a fantastic job for us on the boards," Magic Coach Brian Hill said. "And with another 20-point night, he has to be the focus of our offense. Guys have to understand that Dwight can create opportunities for others."

Hill was concerned that Howard still didn't get as many scoring chances as he should have Monday, despite a dominating performance. Howard made nine of his 12 field-goal attempts, but the Magic shot just 43 percent and were especially poor from the perimeter. The Magic reserves, who were so good in earlier games, made just five of 21 shots.

"If they throw it into the post, I'll get double-teamed a lot, and they'll be open in the corners," Howard said. "Throw it in there, but be ready for the shot because I'm looking to pass."

The Magic already lost earlier this season to the Pacers. Although Howard had 17 points and 14 rebounds in that loss, he struggled against a double-team defense he is sure to see again tonight. He had a game-high eight turnovers.

Another 20/20 night by Howard is going to be tougher than it sounds. The Pacers' front line of Jermaine O'Neal, Al Harrington and Danny Granger is a good one.

"I've got to eat right tonight to make sure I have a lot of energy," Howard said. "That would be an accomplishment [another 20/20]. I'd be proud to get another one."

Howard was informed that Hall of Famer Moses Malone once had 31 20/20 games (in the 1978-79 season).

"In one season?" he asked, sounding amazed. "That's before I was born. No, they aren't easy. They don't happen by accident."

nashtymavsfan13
11-22-2006, 07:37 PM
I like D12 a lot, he's a great player and a classy guy. He's a good role model too. Good luck to him tonight.

V2M
11-22-2006, 08:58 PM
He missed it... only 16/11 tonight

Murphy3
11-22-2006, 09:36 PM
Look out the window...

rakesh.s
11-23-2006, 12:18 PM
they need to make this guy the focal point of the offense and get him 20 shots/night.

No more Turkoglu, Nelson, Dooling, Arroyo jacking up 15 shots a game. There have been games this year, where Howard only had 5 fga's..that's horrendous for a player of his caliber.

The Magic have too many players.

aexchange
11-23-2006, 12:26 PM
they need to make this guy the focal point of the offense and get him 20 shots/night.

No more Turkoglu, Nelson, Dooling, Arroyo jacking up 15 shots a game. There have been games this year, where Howard only had 5 fga's..that's horrendous for a player of his caliber.

The Magic have too many players.

wow, howard is such a beast.