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Postgame Central: Suns vs Magic - March 13, 2011

88 111
March 13, 2011 US Airways Center
Aaron Brooks
19 PTS, 10 AST
Dwight Howard
26 PTS, 15 REB

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The Suns were beaten on the boards Sunday, getting out-rebounded by the Magic by 17 (57-40).

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It definitely wasn’t an easy game."
- Marcin Gortat

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Suns Spelled by Magic

By: Bob Baum

PHOENIX (AP) Dwight Howard had 26 points and 15 rebounds, then watched the fourth quarter from the bench as the Orlando Magic completed a 111-88 rout of the Suns on Sunday for their first victory in Phoenix in nine seasons.

Phoenix had been the only NBA city where Howard had not won.

Aaron Brooks, starting in place of injured Steve Nash, had 19 points and 10 assists, but the Suns were blown out at home for the second game in a row.

Six other Magic players reached double figures, led by Brandon Bass with 17 and Gilbert Arenas with 16, and Orlando's regulars got plenty of rest heading into Monday night's game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Nash missed the game with "pelvic instability." Coach Alvin Gentry said his star point guard probably also will miss Monday night's game at Houston.

Orlando had lost three of four, most recently a 123-120 overtime defeat at Golden State on Friday night, but the Magic dominated Nash-less Phoenix in a stifling third quarter.

The Suns, losers of consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 26, had won five of seven before being drubbed by Denver 116-97 on Thursday, ending the Nuggets' 12-game losing streak in Phoenix. They lost consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 26 and by two of the three biggest margins of the season. The only one bigger than Sunday's blowout was a 121-96 loss to New York on Jan. 7.

The teams met for the first time since the Dec. 18 trade that sent Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark to Orlando from Phoenix for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus.

Arenas' 3-pointer capped a 13-1 run that put Orlando ahead 49-36 with 5:56 left in the half. Carter sank a 3-pointer, Brooks banked in a 7-foot runner and Gortat made a 15-footer as the shot clock expired in a 7-0 spurt that cut it to 54-48 with 4:09 remaining. But Howard banked in a 13-footer, then scored on a three-point play disputed loudly by Gentry and the crowd, and the Magic led 61-52 at the break.

Brooks made 8 of 10 shots, and had seven assists, in a 19-point first half.

The Suns were outscored 26-13 in the third quarter, their second-lowest scoring period of the season. Orlando finished the third on an 11-1 run, the last five points by Howard, to lead 87-65 entering the fourth.

Notes: The Magic play six of their next eight on the road. ... Howard was 15 the last time the Magic won in Phoenix on Nov. 14, 2001. ... For the second game in a row, the Suns blew a chance to move within a 1/2-game of idle Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. ... Brooks was 3 of 15 shooting in his previous two games, 8 of 14 in this one. ... Phoenix was 6-0 in its previous six games after a loss. ... The Magic starting front line outscored its Suns counterparts 56-13. ... Phoenix is 0-3 without Nash this season and 9-20 without him in the last six-plus seasons.

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