Howard scores 20 as Magic trounces Cavs, 116-87; Heat edges Bobcats to clinch berth

The Baltimore Sun

Dwight Howard had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic rode a hot second-half start to go ahead by 41 points and hand the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers their most lopsided loss of the season with a 116-87 blowout Friday night.

Rashard Lewis had 22 points, and Hedo Turkoglu scored 13 for the Magic, which remained percentage points behind the Boston Celtics - but tied in the loss column - for the Eastern Conference's second seed.

LeBron James finished with 26 points and nine rebounds but never found his rhythm, shooting 7-for-20 from the field.

Heat 97, Bobcats 92:: Dwyane Wade had 27 points and 10 assists, and Miami clinched a playoff berth a year after an ugly 15-win season by beating host Charlotte. Gerald Wallace scored 21 points for the Bobcats.

Spurs 126, Pacers 121:: Tony Parker had 31 points and 10 assists, and visiting San Antonio defeated Indiana to make up ground in the Western Conference playoff race. Tim Duncan had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Michael Finley scored 18 points and Drew Gooden added 17 for the Spurs.

Celtics 104, Hawks 92:: Paul Pierce scored 21 points and Rajon Rondo had 20 to lead host Boston over Atlanta, helping the Celtics maintain their hold on the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. Flip Murray scored 21 points, Mike Bibby had 20 and Josh Smith had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta.

Timberwolves 103, Jazz 102:: Ryan Gomes hit a tie-breaking three-pointer with a minute left and Minnesota held off host Utah to break a nine-game road losing streak.

Grizzlies 107, Mavericks 102:: Rudy Gay (Archbishop Spalding) had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Mike Conley added 25 points to help host Memphis win its third straight game, over Dallas.

Trail Blazers 107, Thunder 72:: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 35 points and pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds as visiting Portland added to its string of blowouts, routing Oklahoma City.

Off the court

Pistons:: Detroit said Friday that All-Star guard Allen Iverson will miss the rest of the season because of a sore back. He had averaged just 7.7 points since returning March 28.

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