ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 1 (Ticker) --
Teenager Dwight Howard
an early front-runner for Rookie of the Year.
Howard grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds and scored 15 points
for his fifth double-double to help the Orlando Magic to a
129-108 rout of the Toronto Raptors.
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It was the most points scored in an NBA game this season.
Orlando had the previous best in a 122-113 victory over the
Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 12.
The Magic had eight players in double figures. Steve Francis
scored 23 points, Grant Hill
added 17 and Cuttino Mobley
Orlando shot 57 percent (51-of-89) from the field and held a
massive 61-32 rebounding edge.
"I don't think I have ever been a part of a big rebounding
disparity before quite like that," Toronto guard Jalen Rose
The reason behind that was Howard, who recorded his third
straight double-double. The top overall draft pick directly
out of high school has a dozen games of double digits in
rebounding, leading the team in 12 of its 14 games.
"I just try and go get rebounds," Howard said. "That's what my
team needs for us to win. I think rebounding is more instinct
than anything else. I would love to get 20 rebounds in a close
game instead of a game that's out of reach."
Howard's rebounding total was just five shy of the Magic's
rookie record of 25, set by Shaquille O'Neal
on April 20,
1993. The last time a rookie had 20 rebounds in a game was
Jan. 10, 2003, when Phoenix's Amaré Stoudemire
pulled down 21
"We need Dwight since we had some people in foul trouble,"
Orlando coach Johnny Davis
said. "I thought he did a terrific
job going to the glass, but he's been consistently doing that
every game with the exception of one or two. He has great
instincts for the ball. He doesn't get pushed around a lot and
he wants the basketball."
Sparked by an 18-5 run early in the second quarter, Orlando
scored a season-high 68 points in the first half on 64 percent
shooting (28-of-44) from the field. The Magic had surrendered
69 points in the first two quarters in Monday's loss to Boston.
Mobley, playing his first game after missing nine with a
strained right groin, hit consecutive 3-pointers to close that
26-7 run that opened the third quarter and gave Orlando a 94-67
"What ya'll don't understand about Cuttino is that he's a
serious competitor," Magic center Kelvin Cato
said. "He plays
basketball year-round, doesn't take summers off like some guys.
For him to be sitting on the bench was killing him and killing
me. I'm glad he's back, because we're going to need him."
Cato had a season-high 14 rebounds and 12 points for Orlando,
which recorded its largest victory margin of the season, while
Toronto suffered its worst loss.
scored 21 points for the Raptors, which fell for the
seventh time in eight road games.