ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—In just his third NBA season, Dwight Howard is putting up strong numbers that place him in good company.
Howard capped the last game before his first All-Star appearance with 20 points and 16 rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting in Orlando’s 103-91 win Wednesday over the Portland Trail Blazers. It gave him an 81 percent field goal mark over the last five games, 10th best in NBA history behind eight Wilt Chamberlain performances and one stretch from Bob Hanson.
His numbers looked even better before Wednesday. Howard’s .846 field goal percentage in the past four outings was third-best in history behind two Chamberlain spans.
“It’s a great honor,” the 21-year-old said, understated as usual. “I’ll just keep playing my game.”
The win kept the Magic (27-26) one game over .500 heading into the All-Star break, and capped Portland’s four-game East Coast road trip at 2-2.
Orlando took control in the second quarter, finishing the first half on an 18-4 run for a 52-39 halftime lead. Milicic scored seven of those points in a 1:01 span, while Arroyo had six points and set up Howard for an alley-oop.
“They made a lot of shots and we just ran out of a little gas,” Portland rookie Brandon Roy said.
Turkoglu, who totaled eight points in Orlando’s last two outings while battling flu-like symptoms, scored nine in the first quarter. He had the Magic’s first three second-half buckets, providing a 59-42 edge that widened to 21 points at the start of the fourth quarter.
“I got some rest and I’m feeling good right now,” Turkoglu said.
Trail Blazers forward Zach Randolph had 28 points and 10 rebounds in his final pre-All-Star game argument for why he should’ve made the team. Randolph is averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds, and felt Portland’s 22-32 record hurt his chances. He struggled the last two games against the Miami Heat and Washington Wizards with a combined 27 points on 10-for-30 shooting.
Roy had 19 points and six rebounds for Portland, while Jarrett Jack added 12 points and five assists.
“With their length we weren’t able to get anything in the paint,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said.
Keyon Dooling made his first appearance after missing eight games with a sprained ligament in his right thumb, but Orlando was short-handed even with him. Guard Jameer Nelson had the flu, forwards Grant Hill and Trevor Ariza remained sidelined with sprained knees, and Tony Battie missed his fourth straight game with a fractured thumb.
Orlando outshot Portland 52.6 percent to 40.5 percent from the field. … Magic G JJ Redick left the court in the fourth quarter holding a towel over his face after Randolph bowled over him for a fast-break layup attempt. He returned a few minutes later. … Orlando had lost six of its last seven at home against Portland.