2010-11 Portland Trail Blazers LaMarcus Aldridge (L) and guard Andre Miller (C) - Reuters
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Blazers blunt Howard-less Magic

Blazers blunt Howard-less Magic

By Reuters
Last update 08/03/2011 at 15:56 - Published on 08/03/2011 at 14:25
By Reuters - 08/03/2011 at 15:56

The Portland Trail Blazers took advantage of Dwight Howard's absence and defeated the Orlando Magic 89-85.

The Portland Trail Blazers took advantage of Dwight Howard's absence and defeated the Orlando Magic 89-85.

Orlando's All-Star center was sidelined with a one-game mandatory suspension after recording his 16th technical foul of the season Friday, leaving the Magic vulnerable in the paint.

"Our biggest thing (with Howard out) was not to let up," Blazers guard Brandon Roy said in his sixth game back following a two-month-long absence with knee injuries.

"We wanted to make sure we attacked, got to the middle because we know he's not there to defend and they don't have a true backup center."

Portland's own big man, LaMarcus Aldridge, carried the day with 24 points and the Blazers used an 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter to turn a one-point deficit into their third straight win and sixth consecutive triumph on the road.

The victory moved the Blazers (36-27) into sixth place in the Western Conference and just a half-game behind the Denver Nuggets for fifth.

In a balanced Portland effort, Andre Miller added 15 points and seven assists and the visitors pulled away late.

Despite trailing for most of the contest, Orlando moved in front 79-78 with 7:22 left before the Blazers answered with seven straight points.

Wesley Matthews' three-pointer gave Portland an 88-81 advantage with just over three minutes remaining.

Jason Richardson scored a team-high 22 points for the Magic (40-24) but the home team managed just six points in the final seven minutes to lose their second straight game and both contests with Portland this season.

Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson finished with 13 points apiece in an uninspired effort for the Magic, who remain fourth in the Eastern Conference.

"We didn't lose that game because Dwight Howard didn't play. We lost because we had (18) turnovers and they had (seven)," said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy.

"We have to take accountability for that, all of us."

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