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Howard was 6 for 8 from the floor and finished with a team-high 17 points in the opening 24 minutes. He got support from Anderson, who finished with 10 points, including a pair of 3’s.

Wall led all scorers with 19 points at the half, but had just one assist. The Wizards had only three assists as a team, but outrebounded the Magic 28-23 and outscored them 22-18 in the paint.

But the Magic erased advantages in the second half, holding a 44-40 edge for the night in scoring in the paint and evening up the rebounds at 47-47.

Both teams combined to shoot 15 for 49 from the field in a sloppy first quarter that ended with Washington leading 18-17.

Wall easily slipped by the Magic’s perimeter defense on his way to 13 points, including scoring the Wizards‘ last six of the quarter.

Three of the Wizards‘ post players (JaVale McGee, Hilton Armstrong and Kevin Seraphin) combined for five fouls on Howard in less than 7 minutes of action. But Howard picked up his second whistle of the night with 5:11 to play, when he was called for a questionable offensive foul for knocking over Wall.

It was all for nothing, though, as the Wizards failed to capitalize.

Magic guard Gilbert Arenas said that several players, including himself, plan to stay in Orlando during the break and get in a few workouts. He said that kind of commitment is the only thing that will give Orlando a chance to make headway in its final 25 games.

“If you’re going to be a dominant team, you have go out and dominate teams,” he said. “…We can’t start after the All-Star break like we finished the last 15 games (were 9-6).”

Notes: Howard posted his 45th double-double of the season. … Washington F Al Thornton left the game in the second quarter after re-injuring a dislocated right middle figure. … Wizards F Josh Howard played his second consecutive game after missing the previous 19 with a left knee injury.