On a night the Orlando Magic franchise celebrated a new beginning in a new arena, its players repeated a script they had perfected during the preseason.
The Magic crushed an opponent.
Dwight Howard dominated the paint. Vince Carter performed like an all-star. Jameer Nelson provided assists with few miscues.
The Magic opened their season of high expectations by overwhelming the young Washington Wizards 112-83 on Thursday. Magic officials wanted to commemorate Amway Center’s first regular-season game in style, and the players delivered before an announced crowd of 18,918.
“It’s great with the hoopla of the new building, but it was about business tonight and trying to get that first win under our belt in the quest for the championship,” Carter said.
Carter, who scored with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, set the tone early.
He drove authoritatively to the hoop on the opening possession of the game and finished with a reverse layup. Two minutes later, Carter attempted to take a charge on defense; although he received a personal foul, he had set an example of unselfishness.
Meanwhile, Howard set the tone in the low post.