GameNight Specifics
NBA Coverage: Game Info
Date: Monday, March 7
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Amway Center (ORLANDO, FL)
Radio: AM 580 WDBO, AM 1270 WRLZ
Television: Sun Sports



Andre Miller

Wesley Matthews

Marcus Camby

LaMarcus Aldridge

Nicolas Batum

Brandon Roy

Gerald Wallace
Jameer Nelson

Jason Richardson

Ryan Anderson

Brandon Bass

Hedo Turkoglu

JJ Redick

Gilbert Arenas


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points, Andre Miller added 15 and the Portland Trail Blazers held on to beat the Orlando Magic, who were without the suspended Dwight Howard, 89-85 on Monday night.

Portland won its third straight, and 10th in 13 games. The Blazers also swept the two-game season series with Orlando.

Marcus Camby was held scoreless, but had 10 rebounds to help the Blazers fend off a late rally by the Magic.

Orlando lost its second consecutive game and dropped to 1-2 this season without Howard, who sat out while serving a one-game suspension after picking up his 16th technical foul Friday.

Jason Richardson led Orlando with 22 points, followed by 13 apiece from Ryan Anderson and Hedo Turkoglu.

Richardson's 3-pointer tied it at 74 with 9:34 to play. A 3 by Anderson two possessions later then gave the Magic their first lead since the opening minutes, 77-76.

The pace quickened from there and following a pair of ties and lead changes, the Blazers regained the lead 81-79 on a tip-in by Gerald Wallace with 6:26 left.

The Magic kept it within a basket before Portland's Wesley Matthews drained a 3-pointer from the corner to push to 88-83. Orlando then lost a basket by Anderson after an official review during a timeout waved it off because of a shot-clock violation. That made the deficit 88-81 with just 2:47 remaining.

The Magic kept punching.

Turkoglu hit another from beyond the arc cut it 89-85 at the 1:21 mark and Portland turned it over on a shot-clock violation of its own with 56.3 seconds to play.

Orlando forced a stop, but the Magic got up only one more field-goal attempt.

The Blazers opened the second half with a 13-4 run to take a 60-47 advantage with 5:53 left in the third. It grew to as many as 14 (64-50) before a 14-1 run by the Magic trimmed it to 65-64 at the 1:29 mark. Arenas had eight points during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Portland led 47-43 at halftime, but neither team was particularly impressive offensively in the opening 24 minutes.

Howard's absence underneath was felt early for the Magic, who missed 10 of their first 15 shots - mostly outside jumpers - and racked up 12 first-half turnovers.

The Blazers weren't much better, shooting just 43 percent. They only turned the ball over five times, though, and held an 18-16 scoring advantage in the paint.

Orlando also had no answers defensively for Aldridge, whose 11 points led all scorers. Miller chipped in 10.

The Magic didn't get any of their nine players that saw action in the half into double figures, but were paced by Redick's eight points off the bench.

Notes: Howard missed his third game this season and only his sixth regular-season game in seven NBA seasons (550 of a possible 556 games). ... Howard has been fined $50,000 this season for his 16 technical fouls. ... Retired LPGA golfer Annika Sorenstam and actor Kevin James were among the announced crowd of 19,001.


ORLANDO – In a cruel, twisted sort of way for the short-handed Orlando Magic, Monday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers might have actually strengthened Dwight Howard’s bid to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.

A Magic team that has won this season with just eight healthy players and was victorious just last week when trailing by 24 points found out in Monday’s 89-85 defeat to the Blazers that the loss of their superstar center was simply too much to overcome.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has insisted all season that Howard deserves the MVP award because he affects more possessions on both ends of the floor than any other player. His loss Monday night because of a suspension was as apparent on both ends of the floor as the Magic sloppily turned the ball over 19 times and had no answer defensively for LaMarcus Aldridge (24 points).

``When Dwight rolls down the lane he takes so much attention from the defense and we certainly missed his presence in this game,’’ said Magic forward Ryan Anderson, who had 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. ``We still had a great opportunity to win the game, we fought and that shows we’re a fighting team. We’re not going to let a game like this frustrate us and quit. We did a decent job and had a shot at the end.’’

Monday’s game was just the sixth game out of 556 that Howard, who was out because of a one-game NBA-mandated suspension for picking up 16 technical fouls, has missed in his dazzling seven-year NBA career. He’s played all 82 regular-season games in five of those seven years. He missed two games earlier this season because of a nasty stomach bug and he missed three games in 2008-09 because of mild tendinitis in his knees after playing in the Summer Olympics.

The Magic, losers of the last two after winning four in a row, got 22 points and four 3-pointers from shooting guard Jason Richardson. Hedo Turkoglu had his best game in weeks with 13 points, but he curiously passed up a wide-open 3-pointer in the final seconds down by four points.

Reserve point guard Gilbert Arenas scored nine points, but turned the ball over six times. And the struggles of point guard Jameer Nelson (1 of 7 shooting, two points and five turnovers) didn’t make matters any better for the Magic.

``We were a little bit better than them in every area, but we had 19 turnovers and they had nine. Ballgame,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy snapped. ``It’s been an ongoing problem. We’re one of the higher turnover teams in the league. We either take care of the ball or we’re going to continue to struggle. Our point guards have 11 turnovers between them and that’s not going to get it done.’’

Here’s a look back at what went right, what went wrong and some final observations from Monday’s Howard-less loss at the Amway Center: