- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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WHAT IT MEANS: “Dwight Night” turned into one massive “Dwightmare” for Nets fans. Dwight Howard scored 20 points and snagged a game-high 17 rebounds in 34 minutes as the Magic rolled over the Nets on Wednesday night at Prudential Center, 108-91. The Nets (10-25) have lost seven in a row at home, eight straight to the Magic and fell to 0-4 when wearing their blue throwback ABA jerseys.
TURNING POINT: It was supposed to be when D-12 picked up his second foul at the 4:00 mark of the first quarter. Instead, Glen Davis took over and the Magic closed the opening period on a 9-0 run to take a 17-point lead into the second, which prompted “We Want Dwight!” chants from the crowd.
THIRD WATCH: Deron Williams caught fire in the third quarter again, scoring 12 straight points -- three 3s and an old-fashioned three-point play -- as the Nets got within 67-59 with 7:28 remaining in the period. But Howard scored back-to-back buckets, igniting a 12-2 spurt as the Magic reestablished an 18-point advantage. D-Will finished with 23 points overall, eight assists and six rebounds. he shot 8-for-18 from the floor and 4-for-8 from 3-point range. He briefly chatted with D-12 at halftime, prompting flashes to pop from fans taking pictures of the encounter.
BROOK’S BACK!: Brook Lopez returned to the lineup and looked a lot more comfortable than he did in his season debut Sunday night, scoring 15 points on 7-for-16 shooting in 28 minutes. He grabbed just four rebounds but blocked two shots.
GIMME 3!: The Nets were awful defending the 3-point arc, allowing the Magic to sink 13 of 29 from downtown. Basically every one of Orlando’s bombs was uncontested. The Nets managed to go 9-for-24 from deep.
ROOKIE: MarShon Brooks scored a career-high 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting. He also hit a career-high four 3-pointers.
STATS OF THE NIGHT: The Nets clearly missed Kris Humphries. The Magic outrebounded them 46-37 and outscored them in the paint 58-32.
PLAY OF THE GAME: D-12 soared to swat D-Will’s floater in what could’ve been a goaltending call, and Chris Duhon buried a 3 on the other end to give Orlando an 18-point lead with 3:09 left in the third.
UP NEXT: Some rest. The All-Star break. The Nets don’t get back after it until Feb. 28, when they take on the Mavericks in Dallas.