Jason Richardson added 16 points for the Magic – including 15 in the first half – and J.J. Redick scored 15 points off the bench.
It was the 49th career 20-rebound game for Howard, who neared his career high of 26 rebounds.
Rookie forward MarShon Brooks led the Nets with 17 points. Deron Williams missed his first six shots and finished 2 of 12 from the field with only 10 points.
New Jersey cut Orlando’s lead to seven points in the fourth quarter, but a balanced attack led by Hedo Turkoglu put the game away for the Magic. Turkoglu finished with 11 points, seven assists and six boards.
The Nets came into the game wanting to get off to a better start – and they didn’t succeed. The Magic jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter thanks to a 14-2 run, and they led by as many as 20 points in the second quarter.
But the Nets fought back with a 14-3 run in the final 3:04 of the half, including eight points from Brooks, to cut the lead to six points at the break.
Richardson led the Magic with 15 points at halftime, and Howard had 11 rebounds. Brooks was the only Nets player in double figures after 24 minutes with 10 points.
Notes: Jameer Nelson left the game early in the third quarter with a neck spasm and didn’t return. . In an effort to improve their first-quarter play, the Nets adjusted their starting lineup by inserting Sundiata Gaines and Mehmet Okur in place of Anthony Morrow and Johan Petro. It didn’t help as the Magic jumped out to an early lead. “We’re still in the experimental stages,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said. . Williams, who can opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer, declined to comment when asked if he would consider joining the Magic in free agency. . Howard and Williams had dinner together on Thursday night. . The Nets were without Brook Lopez, who is expected to miss several weeks with a broken foot. . It was referee Dick Bavetta’s 2,500th consecutive game.