Howard hammers Raptors in Turkoglu’s return

Dwight Howard has a message to fans sitting courtside: Look out. Howard had 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks, and the Orlando Magic spoiled Hedo Turkoglu’s return with a 118-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Toronto Raptors forward Hedo Turkoglu

Magic 118 Raptors 99

ORLANDO, Fla. — Dwight Howard has a message to fans sitting courtside: Look out.

Howard had 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks, and the Orlando Magic spoiled Hedo Turkoglu’s return with a 118-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had fans dodging balls in the stands at near the rate of the burritos being chucked into seats with pressurized guns between timeouts by the arena’s entertainment crew.

“You pay to sit that close, beware,” Howard joked.

Rashard Lewis added 21 points and Matt Barnes had 20 to help the Magic cruise to their second straight win with some potent three-point shooting. Orlando was 14-for-30 from beyond the arc.

The Raptors had a tough time even getting shots near the rim.

“I thought he might have popped the ball one time when he blocked somebody’s shot,” Barnes said of Howard. “It sounded like the ball was going to pop, he blocked the ball so hard.”

It wasn’t exactly a warm welcome home for Turkoglu.

He was showered with a mix of cheers and boos and scored 14 points in the arena where he was a fan favourite before parting ways in the off-season. Turkoglu also had four rebounds and four assists, not nearly enough to prevent the Raptors from losing for the fourth time in five games.

“I wish I could go back to Toronto with a better result,” he said. “We tried to be aggressive, but he’s a shot blocker. We have to take better shots and not let him have eight blocks.”

Led by their big man, the Magic turned things into a high-flying affair.

They had a series of slams and blocks, with Howard starting things in the first quarter with a two-handed, alley-oop dunk from Vince Carter that took Toronto players crowded around the rim by surprise. Howard had another high-flying slam in the second quarter that started a three-point play on a pass Anthony Johnson just lobbed up for grabs, letting his big man finish over Amir Johnson.

There were plenty more highlights on the other end.

Some of Howard’s swats went so far, so fast that teammates started to ask their centre to catch the ball or tap it in-bounds.

Howard said he’s working on that but, he admits, big-time rejections are much more fun.

“It sounds better. And the crowd, I think their reaction is better when you block one and it hits somebody in the front row,” Howard said.

There was a familiar face that kept things close early.

Not quite the pick-and-roll point forward who led the Magic in scoring in the NBA finals last season, Turkoglu still managed to get things done for Toronto. He was potent from outside and clever at drawing fouls — 8-for-8 from the line in the first half — to help the Raptors trim the deficit to five.

Just Posted

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Red Deer officials will allow Calgary to trial alcohol in parks

The result could determine if local rules are relaxed

Red Deer city council could provide more clarity around closed-door meetings, says review

Confidential matters were found to be handled appropriately by city

Special lift improves Lacombe patients’ therapy

A new mobility lift is helping physical therapy patients at Lacombe Hospital… Continue reading

Red Deer group is pushing to create a local ‘international village’ to promote unity

A city made up of immigrants has no place for intolerance, say group members

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Most Read