Dwight Howard Dominates in Return to Orlando (VIDEO)

by March 13, 2013

Feeding off the animosity of Magic fans, Dwight Howard decimated his former team, tagging the hapless Magic for 39 points, 16 rebounds and 3 blocks. Howard tied his own NBA record for most free-throws attempted in a game (39), and set a new Los Angeles Lakers team record for charity stripe makes (25). L.A. beat Orlando 106-97 for their fourth win in a row. Per the LA Times: “Courtside fans of the Orlando Magic were trying to rankle Dwight Howard, yelling at him early in the fourth quarter. ‘You can’t win without Kobe!’ one of them screamed. To which Howard replied from the Lakers’ bench, ‘That’s true.’ Bryant and Howard continued to solidify their recently developed relationship Tuesday in Howard’s return to Orlando. […] He made 25 of 39 free throws and continually reminded Orlando Coach Jacque Vaughn of the NBA’s worst in-game strategy this season, making 16 of 20 from the line when fouled intentionally. The Hack-a-Howard was a dismal failure in the second half, over and over, boring fans in the arena but delighting Howard. ‘I was happy I was able to face my fears at the free-throw line and knock them down,’ Howard said. ‘I thought that was the best thing for me, to come in here and really learn how to block a lot of stuff out and play and not allow it to affect me. That’s been big all season, to where I would hear the crowd and I’d get up there and ‘Brick.’ […] With 39 free-throw attempts, he tied the NBA record he set last year against Golden State and established a Lakers standard, blowing past Shaquille O’Neal’s old mark of 31 in 1999 against Chicago. His 25 made free throws erased the Lakers record held by Bryant, who twice had 23 in a game, most recently in 2006 against New York. ‘I think that’s terrific,’ Bryant said, smiling … ‘It’s an interesting tactic, especially when he’s making them,’ Bryant said.”