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O'Neal rejected Howard's hook shot in the Magic's first possession, sending the ball out to Leandro Barbosa for an easy layup on the other end. Three possessions later Howard would answer, beating O'Neal down the floor for a monstrous one-hand dunk.
Howard was called for his third foul on an illegal pick with 6:32 left in the half, and Phoenix took advantage in his absence. Nash's 3-pointer capped a 12-2 Suns run after Howard went out, but Orlando would comeback with a 11-4 spurt to close the half and tie the score at 56-all.
Notes: O'Neal returns to Miami on Wednesday for the first time since being traded by the Heat 13 months ago. ... O'Neal had 185 regular-season wins with the Magic in four seasons. Howard is in his fifth year and earned his 206th regular-season victory with Orlando on Tuesday. ... Grant Hill, who played six mostly injury-riddled seasons in Orlando, also was booed by the home crowd repeatedly. ... Yankees pitchers Joba Chamberlain, C.C. Sabathia and Chien-Ming Wang were in attendance.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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