Magic freefall continues, lose to Hawks
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)
The Hawks earned their third straight win over the Magic this season and have now won six consecutive regular season meetings over their division mates.
Atlanta shot 50 percent from the field (40 for 79) for the game, including 14 three-pointers. The Hawks led by 35 at one point.
Glen Davis and Von Wafer each scored 16 points to lead the Magic. Orlando lost its second straight and fell to 1-4 without center Dwight Howard, who sat for the fifth time in seven games with back spasms.
The Hawks exploited Howard's absence in the middle from the opening tip, driving the ball into the heart of the Magic's defense at will in the early going.
Atlanta scored 16 points in the paint in the first quarter and shot 75 percent (15 for 20) from the field to build a 13-point lead. That advantage grew to 62-42 at the half, with the Hawks still shooting 56 percent (22 for 39) heading into the break.
The Magic briefly showed life, pulling to 74-60 late in the third quarter, but it was short-lived as the Hawks' 15-2 run quickly pushed the lead to 27 and they were able to cruise the rest of the way.
It got so bad in the fourth quarter as the Hawks' lead reached 30 that the Magic were even whistled for a technical for excessive timeouts.
The real damage was done much earlier, though.
The 62 points scored by Atlanta in the first half were a new high for a Magic opponent in the opening half this season, surpassing the old mark of 60 set by Milwaukee last month.
Offensively for the Hawks, it was the Johnson and Smith show early as they combined to shoot 7 for 11 and score 21 points in the opening 24 minutes.
It had minimal success, though, with their attack limited almost exclusively to pick-and-rolls. Minus their inside-out sets to set up shooter, the Magic's outside shooting suffered as well. For the game they went just 6 for 28 from three.
Davis tried to carry the scoring load with eight points, but Orlando's 10 first-half turnovers didn't help.
Van Gundy, who had managed to control his usually fiery temper with referees this season, was also whistled for his first technical foul of the season for arguing what appeared to be questionable offensive foul call on Wafer late in the half.
NOTES: Pargo's five threes tied a season-high. ... The Magic fell to 4-10 when an opponent scores 100 or more points. ... With his fifth missed regular-season game Howard set a new personal high for missed games in a season. He missed four games last season. Prior to this season Howard had only missed two games in his career due to injury. The rest were either because of illness or suspension.