Howard dominates Wizards in paint as Magic cruise to fourth win in row

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dwight Howard certainly got Stan Van Gundy's attention.

Howard had a season-high 31 points and 16 rebounds and also blocked three shots and had three assists to help the Orlando Magic win their fourth straight game, 106-81 over the winless Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

"I've seen him have numbers like that before, but I'm not sure he's played a better game since I've been here," said Van Gundy, in his second season as Orlando's coach.

"On top of being dominant physically, which he always is, he was just so patient. He wasn't forcing anything, just letting the game come to him. He looked like a more mature, professional guy down in the low post."

Howard, who leads the NBA in blocked shots, hit 11 of 13 shots and nine of 14 free throws. Mickael Pietrus added 18 points for the Magic (4-2), and Keith Bogans had 13, including three 3-pointers.

"When those guys spread the floor, it just give me more room around the basket, allows me to do more things," Howard said. "It makes it easier for me when it's not so cluttered."

Nick Young had 20 points for the Wizards (0-5), the only team in the Eastern Conference without a victory this season. DeShawn Stevenson added 14 points.

The Magic led by as many as 19 points in the second quarter and 29 in the third.

The Wizards played their reserve backups in the fourth quarter, while the Magic kept many of their starters in the game.

The Wizards are playing without Gilbert Arenas (left knee) and Brendan Haywood (right wrist) and neither is expected back anytime soon.

Caron Butler, the Wizards' leading scorer this season, left the court late in the second quarter with a bloody cut over his left eye, sustained when he hit heads with Pietrus. Butler returned for the second half wearing a bandage. He had 10 points.

The Magic never trailed, opening with a pair of 3-pointers from Pietrus and Hedo Turkoglu. They led 58-39 at halftime after shooting 59 percent.

Game notes
The Wizards opened 0-5 last season and still reached the playoffs, becoming the 13th team in NBA history to lose its first five and still finish in the playoffs.

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