January 7, 2009

NBA: Orlando 106, Atlanta 102

Dwight Howard produced his 26th double-double of the season Wednesday and Orlando fended off Atlanta 106-102.

Although the Hawks twice got within three in the final 30 seconds, they could not make the key stop that would have allowed them a shot at tying the game.

Howard scored 23 points and grabbed 19 rebounds and both Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu had 20 points. Orlando has won 11 out of 13 and increased its lead over Atlanta to five games in the race for the lead in the Southeast Division.

Atlanta, which lost its second straight, got 21 points from Josh Smith and 17 from Mike Bibby.

The teams will play again Friday in Orlando.