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Magic beat Kings despite Howard’s foul trouble

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POSTED January 8, 2012 10:45 p.m.

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Having foul-plagued star Dwight Howard sitting on the bench for much of the first three quarters wasn’t funny to Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy during the game.

Afterward, the veteran coach could laugh about it.

Jason Richardson scored a season-high 22 points, Glen Davis added a season-best 20 and Orlando beat the Sacramento Kings 104-97 on Sunday with Howard playing only a minor role.

The All-Star center, who entered the game averaging 20.3 points and 15.9 rebounds, had five points and four rebounds in 20 minutes and spent most of the first three quarters in foul trouble. He didn’t get his first rebound until 4 minutes into the fourth and was scoreless before converting a three-point play with 6:35 remaining, putting the Magic ahead 87-85.

“I got Dwight a lot of rest in the first half. That was a (good) coaching move,” laughed Van Gundy, who received 42 points from his productive bench.

Davis earned a big share of the credit. Nicknamed “Big Baby” for his 289-pound frame and style of play, Davis consistently hit jumpers from the perimeter and used his muscle to score inside and grab eight rebounds, including five on offense. He shot 8 of 13 and had two assists in 28 minutes.

“These types of games are a tell-all for a team when you have your best player in foul trouble,” said Orlando forward Ryan Anderson, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds. “We had a lot of guys back (Howard) up tonight. Glen did an amazing job off the bench.”

Tyreke Evans had a season-high 28 points and eight assists for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins, also hampered by fouls, had 16 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Hickson added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Marcus Thornton scored 13 points.

Guarding Cousins, Howard picked up his second foul at the 10:14 mark of the first quarter and promptly left the game. He was called for a third foul midway through the second quarter and had zero points and rebounds in 6 first-half minutes.

Notes: Anderson, who missed his first six shots, grew up in nearby El Dorado Hills, about 30 miles northeast of Sacramento. He got tickets for a group of family and friends. ... Turkoglu argued a first-quarter foul and was given a technical. ... Thornton missed all seven shots in a scoreless opening half, but finally scored on a jumper early in the third quarter, when he had 10 points.

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