Dwight Howard scored 21 points, on 9-of-11 shooting, and grabbed seven rebounds in the first half, leading the Orlando Magic to a 47-42 halftime lead over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Amway Center in Orlando on Monday night. Orlando used a 19-4 run in the first quarter to take the lead over the Clippers, who chipped away at that lead in the second quarter.
The Clippers have lost nine straight contests against the Magic.
Blake Griffin had 11 points and six rebounds for the Clippers, who shot 40% (16 for 40) in the opening half. Chris Paul added nine points, four rebounds, and two assists for Los Angeles.
Orlando started off the game making eight of their first nine shots, including three dunks by Howard. The Magic shot 68.4% (13 of 19) in the first quarter, including making three of seven shots from three-point range. In the first quarter, the Magic were an inside-outside team with nothing in between. They made 10 of 12 shots from inside the paint and shot nothing in between the paint and the three-point line. Howard had 13 points in the opening quarter and Jason Richardson had 12.
The Clippers were down 37-23 midway through the second quarter, but a 14-2 cut that lead to just two points. Los Angeles outrebounded Orlando 19-16 in the opening half. The Magic shot 55.6% (20 for 36) int he first 24 minutes.
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