Dwight Howard

The Orlando Magic didn’t have their best player on the floor when they hosted the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.

Dwight Howard suffered from back spasms, was a late scratch and sat out a regular-season game for only the eighth time in his eight-year pro career.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has alleged that Howard was punched in his lower back by Dallas Mavericks center Brendan Haywood during Friday night’s loss to the Mavericks.

Haywood said he did nothing wrong.

“Man, I don’t know what’s wrong with Stan,” Haywood said Sunday, according to ESPNDallas.com. “Stan’s going to say what Stan wants to say. We don’t gotta play them no more. The game’s over with.

“I think Dwight caught me with more shots than I caught him. He’s the most physical player in the league. So it is what it is. Stan made his comment. I haven’t got a call from anybody [in the league office], so I guess nobody’s listening.”

– Reported by Josh Robbins of theĀ Orlando Sentinel