Howard leads Lakers past Magic

Los Angeles' Dwight Howard scored 39 points during the Lakers' win over Orlando. He also pulled down 16 rebounds.

ORLANDO, Fla. —Dwight Howard scored a season-high 39 points, had 16 rebounds and was sent to the free throw line 39 times by his former team as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Orlando Magic, 106-97 on Tuesday night.


The victory came in Howard’s first return to Orlando since his drama-filled off-season trade to the Lakers. He endured a chorus of boos throughout, and tied his own NBA record for free throw attempts.

The majority of them came as the Magic tried to employ an intentional foul strategy. It backfired, though, as the All-Star center hit on 16 of 20 attempts in the second half. He made 25 of 39 overall.

The victory was the Lakers’ fourth in a row.

Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 21 points.



In Charlotte, N.C., Gerald Henderson had a career-high 35 points, and the Bobcats snapped a 10-game losing streak with a win over Boston.

Ben Gordon scored 17 points and new starting forward Josh McRoberts had his first double-double for Charlotte with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Celtics, playing without Paul Pierce, looked like a team that has played nine of its last 11 games on the road. Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford each had 14 points for Boston.



In Cleveland, Dion Waiters scored 20 points, Alonzo Gee added 17 and the Cavaliers held off a late run to beat Washington.

Cleveland played its first game since Kyrie Irving sprained his left shoulder Sunday against Toronto.

John Wall led Washington with a season-high 27 points.



In New York, Brook Lopez scored 26 points and had a big dunk over twin brother Robin, Deron Williams added 21 points and 13 assists, and Brooklyn beat New Orleans.

Eric Gordon led New Orleans with 24 points. Robin Lopez had 15 points for the Hornets.



In Minneapolis, Ricky Rubio had his first career triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, leading Minnesota over San Antonio.

Stephen Jackson had 14 points for the Spurs, who left Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard at home to rest after they throttled Oklahoma City on Monday night.



In Milwaukee, Vince Carter hit three key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 23 points off the bench as Dallas won its fourth in a row.

Dirk Nowitzki added 19 points while O.J. Mayo had 14. Mavericks rookie and former Marquette star Jae Crowder, last year’s Big East player of the year, was one off his career high with 14 points.

Monta Ellis scored 32 points for the Bucks, giving him 20 or more in all six of Milwaukee’s games this month.