Foiled in Florida

Apparently nothing short of earth-moving equipment can stop Dwight Howard. I mean, the man had a double-double in twelve minutes. For the full 39 minutes he played, he had 21 points and 23 rebounds, and blocked six shots. And he didn’t even have a single trey. If he had, it would have been worse for Oklahoma City: the rest of the Magic hit 10 of 16 from beyond the arc in the second half and shot down the Thunder, 98-89.

The big news in Orlando, though, was the return of Jameer Nelson, who played 28 minutes and knocked down 15 points, including three treys. I’d say he’s healthy.

This wasn’t quite as bad as the shellacking the Thunder got earlier this season from the Magic — they stayed within striking distance most of the game, and actually led by two a couple of times — but it was the long ball that killed them: OKC got only three 3-pointers out of 9 attempts, versus 13 of 27 for Orlando. Russell Westbrook had an exceptional night, with 19 points and 9 rebounds; Kevin Durant got the double-double with 16/10. And Johan Petro, unglued from the bench, scored 15 in a mere 19 minutes. The Thunder didn’t do that much wrong tonight; they just didn’t do enough right.

More Florida to come: tomorrow at Miami. Then it’s back home to await the arrival of the Warriors on Monday.

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