Johnson: Magic down Wizards in Arenas' return

Johnson: Magic down Wizards in Arenas' return
February 5, 2011, 2:35 am
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Friday, February 4, 2011 9:32 p.m.WIZARDS PAGE WIZARDS VIDEOS

By Dave Johnson
CSNwashington.comWashington -- Fans cheered but it was different seeing Gilbert Arenas in an Orlando Magic uniform. It was all too familiar watching Dwight Howard dominate on the inside while the rest of the Magic punished the Wizards from the outside in a 110-92 victory.Arenas, who finished with 10 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds, received a warm reception when he entered the game late in the first quarter. By that time Dwight Howard had already made his first five shot attempts, including four dunks, and was well on his way to a game-high 22 points and 15 rebounds.Howard was so effective, Wizards head coach Flip Saunders said. He really got going early, but when it really came down to it, as I said earlier before the game, the people that decided how the game was going were the other four.

Oddly enough a big scoring night from Howard is not always a recipe for Magic success. Four of Howards best point performances this season have resulted in losses, but when the Magic make shots from the perimeter they are almost unbeatable.Against the Wizards, the Magic improved to 21-4 when making at least ten three-points field goals. The Magic were 12 of 31 from three-point distance and made 9 of their last 13 attempts from beyond the arc to pull away from the Wizards. Ryan Anderson made 3 three-pointers and scored 19 points, while Jameer added 9 points, on 3 three-pointers, to go with 11 assists.The Wizards were slowed by 11 first half turnovers but only trailed at half-time 51-49 despite shooting 47 percent from the field to the Magics 40 percent. Nick Young had 9 of his 17 points in the opening two quarters.Young shared the Wizards scoring lead with Kirk Hinrich who tried to keep the Wizards alive with 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. John Wall finished with 14 points and 5 assists, but had an early exit when he picked up his second technical foul with 2:56 remaining in the game."A couple of calls didn't go our way. I had something to say about it, and I guess the refs didn't like it," Wall said. "I don't know what calls rookies are supposed to get."It was not the best of nights for the Wizards starting five. In addition to their stumble at the start, they struggled in the third quarter when the Magic outscored the Wizards 23-15. JaVale McGee not only struggled with Howard but only had 2 points and 1 rebound.We might have to go with a shorter leash, Saunders said. We might have to bring our energy guys in sooner. I am not saying they are not going to play, but they have to go out with that same energy and earn your minutes.Trevor Booker is certainly earning his minutes with energy off the bench. Booker had 6 points, 6 rebounds, and a career-high 6 blocked shots. With 7:53 to go in the fourth quarter Booker had one of the dunks of the season when he was able to rise above the Magics Earl Clark and finish emphatically with his left hand tomahawk-style.