LOS ANGELES — The Orlando Magic can downplay it all they want, but their matchup Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers and the superstar who spurned them meant so much more than a typical regular-season game.
For one night at least, the Magic erased the pain of Dwight Howard’s messy departure and the frustrations from the rebuilding process his exit set in motion. They also embarrassed Howard by forcing him to confront his Achilles’ heel, his awful free-throw shooting.
Fouling Howard repeatedly late in the game and sharing the ball as well as they have all season, the Magic erased a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter and stunned the Lakers 113-103 at Staples Center.
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