Howard registers another double-double to lead Magic past Wolves

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu are still standing. And that's enough for the Orlando Magic, who keep winning despite an injury decimated backcourt.

Howard had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Lewis also scored 23 points to lead the Magic to a 100-89 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

Turkoglu added 22 for the Magic, who have won two of three despite missing their top three guards with injuries.

Al Jefferson had 19 to lead the Timberwolves.

The Magic's starting backcourt of J.J. Redick and Anthony Johnson combined for only seven points, but rookie Courtney Lee came off the bench to score a season-high 16. Lee shot 8-of-10 from the field and made all three 3-pointers.

"Due to the injuries, I'm getting to play more and get more comfortable with the players and the system," Lee said. "It shows hard work pays off."

As long as the Magic have Howard, who leads the league in rebounding and blocked shots, they aren't out of any game.

"I would get past J.J. Redick on the pick-and-roll, and [Howard] would be right there waiting," said Wolves guard Randy Foye. "It's hard, you know. If anybody else on the team was there we probably would have scored all night."

Howard had six blocks, more than two over his average.

The Magic took advantage of the Wolves' 3-of-12 shooting to open the third quarter with a 20-8 run, taking a 64-46 lead with just over three minutes left. Lee, the first-round pick out of Western Kentucky, made a layup in the final seconds to give the Magic a 70-50 lead after three quarters.

Orlando's lead grew to as many as 21 in the final period.

The Magic shot a season-high 57 percent.

Minnesota, predictably, attacked the Magic backcourt, which is missing two starters and its top reserve. The Wolves started the 6-foot-10 Jefferson at center and replaced normal center Jason Collins, who had started the last eight games, with guard Kevin Ollie.

Magic point guard Jameer Nelson has been sidelined with a strained hip flexor, but he said he will likely return Friday against Oklahoma City. Starting shooting guard Mickael Pietrus is out for at least three weeks with torn thumb ligaments, but top sub Keith Bogans has had the cast removed from his broken thumb and could have played Wednesday.

Redick, getting his second straight start in place of Pietrus, was 1-of-4 on 3-pointers and had five points.

Johnson, a journeyman signed specifically to give Nelson an experienced backup, had two points and four assists.

Minnesota shot only 33 percent in the first quarter but, despite its smaller lineup, beat Orlando 15-8 on the boards and trailed 23-19. Orlando led 44-38 at halftime.

Minnesota forward Mike Miller was helped off the court and taken to the locker room early in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury. He returned with about two minutes left in the period.

Minnesota made 36 of 87 shots and was 2-of-9 on 3s.

"Through three quarters we got great looks, we just couldn't put it in," Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "You've got to score against this team."

The Wolves outrebounded the Magic 42-31. Orlando had 19 turnovers.

"If we want to get to a higher level of play those are two areas we're going to have to take care of," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.

The Magic were coming off a 107-88 loss to the defending NBA champion Celtics in Boston, which ended a four-game winning streak.

Minnesota opened its three-game road trip with a 100-90 loss to Charlotte on Monday. The Wolves had won six of 10 and seven of the last 12 games in this series.

Game notes
Miller said he will have an MRI on his knee Thursday. "At first, I thought it was really serious," Miller said. "But right now we found out that it is hopefully just a sprain." ... Orlando is 10-0 when scoring at least 100 points. ... Howard had his 15th double-double and his seventh game with at least five blocks.