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Magic 109, Thunder 92: Magic 109, Thunder 92: With Kevin Durant out, Thunder can’t slow down Dwight Howard

By Mike Baldwin Modified: November 13, 2008 at 1:25 pm •  Published: November 13, 2008
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photo - Orlando's Dwight Howard tries to grab a rebound in front of Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Orlando Magic at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN
Orlando's Dwight Howard tries to grab a rebound in front of Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Orlando Magic at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN
No Kevin Durant, no chance?

Teammates sometimes rise to the occasion when their star player is out.

Not this time.

With Durant sidelined by an ankle injury, the Thunder trailed by 20 points much of the night in a 109-92 loss to Orlando.

"Not having (Durant) doesn’t have anything to do with playing hard,” said coach P.J. Carlesimo. "They’re professionals. They’re paid to play. There is absolutely no excuse for not playing hard.”

Orlando star center Dwight Howard stole the show with his first career triple-double (30 points, 19 rebounds, 10 blocks). Carlesimo said Howard is one of the best players on the planet.

Carlesimo also said sluggish first-half performances against Milwaukee, Utah and Orlando are unacceptable.

"We’ve had three halves that were not representative,” Carlesimo said. "It was encouraging we got back into it. But we can’t keep digging holes like this.”

The Magic never trailed on Wednesday.

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