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News » LeBron, Cavs smack Magic in Orlando

LeBron, Cavs smack Magic in Orlando

LeBron, Cavs smack Magic in Orlando

O'Neal and Howard were banging bodies on the inside, their 500 pounds of combined weight jostling, their powerful elbows swinging large with every move. Each team even went with two centers on the floor - Howard and Marcin Gortat, O'Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas - at the same time for stretches that crowded the paint and made rebounds a physical punishment.

It was Superman vs. Superman. Past vs. Present.

Showered with boos on every touch, O'Neal gave glimpses that he could be Cleveland's missing piece even though the 37-year-old is no longer the unstoppable force that put the Magic franchise on the map. But he helped put Howard in foul trouble for most of the first half, helping the Cavs build a 66-51 halftime lead.

Howard took the loss particularly tough. He dressed slowly in the locker room and didn't speak with reporters until more than an hour after the game.

"I feel better than I did an hour ago," he said.

"It's tough," Howard said. "You want to go at a guy like Shaq. But I understand it's not all about individual stats. It's about getting my team going."

The former Magic big man soaked up all the attention, too. He had amped-up Amway Arena at his pulse, even leaving his hand up a little longer after making free throws and scoffing at the Superman anthem played after Howard's dunks.

"I think Shaq always plays a big game when he's matched up against one of the big centers," Williams said.

Orlando fans have long considered O'Neal their biggest villain.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 12, 2009


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