The major milestones just keep on coming for Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard.
With his hook shot over Phoenix center Robin Lopez in the third quarter of Orlando’s 111-88 rout of the Suns on Sunday, Dwight eclipsed 10,000 points for his illustrious seven-year NBA career.
Dwight came into the game needing 23 points to hit 10,000 for his career. He had that many by the end of the third quarter and he tacked on three more for good measure. Dwight finished the game with 26 points, 15 rebounds, five blocked shots and five dunks.
Afterwards, he was more happy about the 8-minute, 44-second span in the second half when the Magic held the Suns without a field goal than he was topping 10,000 points for his career.
“I didn’t even know about that because I never look at points,” Dwight said. “Rebounds and blocked shots, those are what I look at. Points don’t win championships; defending and rebounding wins championships.”
Sunday’s game was a chance for Dwight to see former teammates Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus, who were traded from Orlando to Phoenix back on Dec. 18.
Howard and Gortat went at each other every day in practice for the past 3 ½ years and Gortat predicted before the game that he was confident he could slow down Orlando’s superstar. Gortat, who had 12 points on five jump shots, actually played well, but Howard still grabbed five offensive boards and scored almost at will against Lopez and Gortat.
“It was fun to see Vince, Marc and MP, but we’re more happy about getting the win,” Dwight said. “My teammates showed that (Gortat’s prediction) to me before the game, so I was pretty amped up. We didn’t talk a lot because he had his game face on. I knew he was going to shoot all jump shots. Every day in practice when he gets the ball it’s the first thing he does. So I figured he was going to come out and do that. His (picture) was on a building and he played well, so I’m happy for him.”
Up next for Dwight and the Magic is a showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night on ESPN. Orlando whipped the Lakers 89-75 back on Feb. 13 behind 31 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots from Dwight.
“We’ve proven we can beat teams like that, but we have to be consistent and prove that we can play that way night in and night out,” Dwight said. “Only the mentally strong teams are the ones capable of winning a championship, and we have to be that way every night.”