DALLAS _ Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said center Dwight Howard missed practice today because he was punched in the lower back by Dallas Mavericks center Brendan Haywood when the two teams met Friday night in Orlando.
Van Gundy told OrlandoMagic.com that he plans to get film of the alleged punch and send it to NBA headquarters.
"Haywood just punched him literally with a closed fist right in the back,''' Van Gundy told the website. "So (Howard) got through the game because he was loose, but then it really tightened up.''
Howard scored 19 points and collected 15 rebounds in 44 minutes for Orlando. But the Mavs rallied from a 15-point deficit in the third period to defeat the Magic, 100-98.
-- Dwain Price
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