Fast Breaks: Magic-Raptors
By Marty Burns
 
Game 1 Leaders
Magic lead series 1-0 PointsReboundsAssists
(6)
114 100
 
Howard
25
Howard
22
Calderon
8
AP
Dwight Howard says he wants to be considered among the NBA's elite. He played like it in Game 1. Howard had 25 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks to lead his Magic to a 114-100 victory over the Raptors in their playoff series opener.

Like LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Chris Paul and the other superstars who dominated in their Game 1s, Howard seized the playoff spotlight. He scored inside and with the jumper. He swatted those five shots, and altered countless others. He even hit his free throws (nine of 11).

Howard kept the Raptors' point guards and wing players from getting to the rim all game. He also sparked a key 10-0 Magic run in the fourth after Toronto had rallied to trim the deficit to five points. All in all, it was a superstar performance.

Chris Bosh lit up Howard for 40 points during a game in the regular season. But Bosh had a much more difficult time Sunday, finishing with just 21 points (on four-of-11 shooting) and six rebounds. The Magic did a good job double-teaming the 6-10 forward and making him play in traffic. Finding ways for Bosh to get more space is one of the "adjustments" Toronto coach Sam Mitchell is going to have to make for Game 2.

• How hot were the Magic to start the game? They set an NBA playoff record by hitting nine threes in the first quarter en route to a 43-23 lead. It wasn't just Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis either. Jameer Nelson, Maurice Evans and Keyon Dooling could not miss. Even for a good outside shooting team such as Orlando, it was ridiculous.

• Magic coach Stan Van Gundy went with Dooling over Carlos Arroyo as the backup to Nelson. It's hard to argue with the results, as Dooling put up 10 points in 17 minutes. Mitchell, meanwhile, went full-time with Andrea Bargnani over Jamario Moon. Bargnani finished with just five points and three boards in 28 minutes. Mitchell might want to give Moon a longer look in Game 2.

• One encouraging sign for the Raptors is that they didn't panic after falling behind early. They pretty much played Orlando even after the first quarter, although some of that can be attributed to the Magic naturally easing up a bit. The bottom line is Toronto only needs to get one win in Orlando to make it a series, and it gets another shot in Game 2.
 

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