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NBA roundup: Dwight Howard, Lakers drop the Magic

Dwight Howard scored a season-high 39 points, had 16 rebounds, and was sent to the free throw line 39 times by his former team as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Magic, 106-97, Tuesday night.

The victory came in Howard’s first return to Orlando since his drama-filled offseason trade to the Lakers. He endured a chorus of boos throughout. The majority of them came as the Magic tried to employ an intentional foul strategy. It backfired, though, as the All-Star center hit on 16 of 20 attempts in the second half. The victory was the Lakers’ fourth straight.

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Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 21 points.

Heat 98, Hawks 81 — Dwyane Wade scored 23 points and Miami extended its winning streak to 19 games, leading wire-to-wire in beating visiting Atlanta.

LeBron James scored 15 and Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers added 14 apiece for the Heat, who matched the fifth-longest streak in NBA history.

Josh Smith scored 15 for the Hawks.

Nets 108, Hornets 98 — Brook Lopez scored 26 points, had a big dunk over twin brother Robin, and Deron Williams added 21 points and 13 assists to lift host Brooklyn.

Eric Gordon led New Orleans with 24 points. Robin Lopez had 15 points for the Hornets, who played without leading scorer Ryan Anderson because of flu-like symptoms.

Mavericks 115, Bucks 108 — Vince Carter hit three key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 23 points off the bench as Dallas won its fourth straight with a victory in Milwaukee.

Dirk Nowitzki added 19 points while O.J. Mayo had 14.

Monta Ellis scored 32 points for the Bucks.

Timberwolves 107, Spurs 83 — Ricky Rubio had his first career triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists, leading host Minnesota.

Stephen Jackson had 14 points and Danny Green 10 for the Spurs, who left Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard at home to rest after they throttled Oklahoma City on Monday night.

Cavaliers 95, Wizards 90 — Dion Waiters scored 20 points to lift host Cleveland, which played its first game since Kyrie Irving was sidelined with a sprained left shoulder Sunday.

John Wall led Washington with a season-high 27 points.

Grizzlies 102, Trail Blazers 97 — Zach Randolph returned from an ankle injury with 19 points and 10 rebounds to lift visiting Memphis to its fifth straight victory.

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