Howard rolls over Knicks as Magic finish road swing 4-0

NEW YORK (AP) -- For the Orlando Magic, it's right from a terrific trip to a tremendous test.

Dwight Howard had 22 points and 20 rebounds, Jameer Nelson added 24 points and 10 assists, and the Magic completed a perfect four-game road trip with a 112-102 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.

No time for celebrating, though. The Magic return home to face Phoenix on Saturday night.

"To go on a four-game trip, win them all, it's difficult to do," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "It's a good accomplishment. It's hard to relax and enjoy it because you have a fairly decent team staring in your face tomorrow night at home that can make you look bad."

Orlando also won at Washington, Minnesota and Toronto in the first 4-0 road start in franchise history. The Magic never before had four consecutive road wins without a home game in between.

"It's great," forward Hedo Turkoglu said. "It will be greater if we win tomorrow, too, and have a couple of days off."

Turkoglu scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Magic (5-1), off to their best start since also winning five of their first six in the 2002-03 season. Rashard Lewis also finished with 21.

"I think it's because our team is maturing," Howard said. "Everybody coming to practice we work hard, we get in the games, we try to work hard. We know when we're down we stay positive and try to make it up on the defensive end."

Howard had his first 20-20 game of the season and seventh of his career while outplaying the Knicks' big-man tandem of Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry. Curry grabbed only three rebounds.

Randolph had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, giving him double-doubles in all four games. Curry and Quentin Richardson each scored 19 points.

"Those guys just hit a lot of big shots in the fourth quarter and throughout the game," Randolph said. "Rashard hit a couple of 3s back-to-back, got fouled on one. The guy shot well from the field tonight. We didn't execute like we were supposed to. Dwight Howard is an All-Star in this league, a strong, physical player."

The Knicks were trying to move two games over .500 for the first time since Jan. 1, 2005. Instead, they turned it over 20 times and fell to 2-2 after their two-game winning streak was snapped.

"We weren't patient enough to continue to pound the ball inside, get good shots and go to the foul line," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "I thought that every time we got impatient, Orlando capitalized on our impatience."

In a closely played game between teams who believe they've improved, there were 20 lead changes and 11 ties in the first three quarters. Neither club was ahead by more than seven, and Orlando brought a 77-73 lead to the final period.

Curry's three-point play 33 seconds into the quarter cut it to one, but Keyon Dooling answered with a three-point play and Turkoglu hit a 3-pointer for an 83-76 lead.

"We kept playing but we finally started making shots and started getting stops on the defensive end," Lewis said. "We were able to pick the lead up."

Randolph twice brought the Knicks within four, but Turkoglu and Lewis had 3s and Turkoglu had another bucket during a 10-0 spurt that extended Orlando's advantage to 95-81 with 5:29 to go.

Howard grabbed 10 rebounds in the first quarter, which ended in a 28-all tie. The Knicks led 49-48 at halftime.

Game notes
Patrick Ewing, the Knicks' career scoring leader, received a loud ovation during a third-quarter timeout. He is in his first season as a Magic assistant, working on Howard's development. "So far it's been great," Van Gundy said. "I think obviously in Patrick you're bringing in a guy with incredible credibility, because first of all the career he had and second of all the kind of person he is. Very humble guy, intelligent guy, who I think can really impart to Dwight what he needs to do to become a great player." ... Knicks G Jamal Crawford was given the NBA's Community Assist Award for October. Crawford unveiled the "Crawford Library" at a public school in the Bronx. ... Van Gundy on the Knicks: "They got a lot of talent. Look, when you have a $90 million-plus payroll, you're going to have some guys that can play. Let's not act like it's a miracle. They've got one of the highest payrolls in the league and they're going to put a lot of talent on the floor." ... Knicks reserve Jerome James will have surgery on his right foot Monday and is out indefinitely.