Howard guides Lakers over Magic in return to Orlando

8:49 PM, Mar 12, 2013   |    comments
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Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - The frenetic Orlando crowd jeered every time Dwight Howard stepped up to the foul line and cheered every time he missed.

Howard returned to the Magic Kingdom for the first time since his trade to the Lakers during the offseason and had a season-high 39 points, 16 rebounds and matched his own NBA record with 39 free-throw attempts in Los Angeles' 106-97 win.

The Magic hacked Howard intentionally throughout and continually sent the woeful foul shooter to the charity stripe.

Howard went 25-of-39 from the foul line, but sunk 23 of his final 30 after beginning the game just 2-of-9. He broke Wilt Chamberlain's 50-year-old, single-game mark of 34 free throws, done Feb. 22, 1962, on Jan. 13, 2012 against the Warriors. Howard sunk 21-of-39 from the line against Golden State.

Howard led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals, was a six-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year during his eight-year stay in Orlando. He averaged 18.4 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.16 blocks with the Magic, who selected him with the first overall pick of the 2004 draft.

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