Hawks hold off late charge to beat Magic 86-80
- Article by: KYLE HIGHTOWER
- Associated Press
- December 12, 2012 - 8:43 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. - Josh Smith and Jeff Teague scored 16 points apiece, Al Horford added 13 points and 13 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks held off a late charge by the Orlando Magic for an 86-80 victory Wednesday night.
Atlanta extended its regular-season win streak against Orlando to eight with its second win over the Magic this season.
Arron Afflalo scored 16 points and J.J. Redick added 13 for the Magic, who were able to dig out of a huge first-half hole, but couldn't overcome 16 turnovers that led to 24 points.
Orlando also struggled from the field, connecting on only 31 of 81 shots, in dropping its fourth straight home game. The Magic get a chance to end the skid Friday against Golden State.
Wednesday was the Magic's first home game since Nov. 30 following a five-game trip, but it hardly was a welcome return. Atlanta led by as many as 19 in the third quarter before a late Orlando run trimmed it to 12 entering the fourth.
The Magic pulled within six late, but costly turnovers and their inability to get stops on defense helped the Hawks secure the win.
Atlanta clearly was the livelier team early on, despite just wrapping up a three-game road swing and coach Larry Drew deciding to rest forward DeShawn Stevenson's ailing knee.
Drew said they likely would continue resting Stevenson for back-to-back games. Atlanta hosts Charlotte on Thursday.
With Stevenson unavailable, the Hawks got help from reserves Lou Williams and Kyle Korver, who returned after missing five straight games with back spasms.
Korver didn't show much rust at all, going 3 for 5 from 3-point range and finishing with nine points. Williams was efficient from inside and out, scoring 11 points and stunting Magic runs with timely baskets.
Smith had 10 first-half points to help the Hawks take a 46-34 lead at the break.
The Hawks hovered near 50-percent shooting for most of the half, scoring 20 points in the paint and turning several Magic turnovers into layups.
Orlando didn't help its cause, shooting 34 percent (14 of 41) and committing eight turnovers in the opening 24 minutes.
The Magic avoided what looked to be the makings of a blowout early on. Atlanta sprinted out to a 16-2 lead thanks to some easy transition baskets and abysmal shooting by Orlando. The Magic connected on only one of their first nine shots, forcing coach Jacque Vaughn to go to his bench early.
Vaughn then tried to slow Atlanta's momentum with a pair of timeouts in less than two minutes. It finally worked as the Magic were able to close the quarter on a 13-4 run and get back into the game.
Notes: Drew said he didn't have a problem with backup C Zaza Pachulia becoming the first Atlanta player issued an official flopping warning for a play in the Hawks' win last week against Washington. "Obviously the league is taking a real close stance with that," Drew said. "I don't even remember the play, but if they say it happened, it happened ... Zaza is Zaza. He's a banger. He throws his body all over the place." ...The Magic's Friday night game against Golden State will begin at 7 p.m. It was originally scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.
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