Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 10/29

Game 1: Wednesday, October 29th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 7th
Game 3: Friday, January 9th
Game 4: Saturday, April 4th

Magic 88

(57-19, 27-11 away)

Hawks 82

(43-34, 29-10 home)

    Coverage: FSSHD

    7:00 PM ET, April 4, 2009

    Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 22 18 22 2688
    ATL 18 26 17 2182

    Top Performers

    Orlando: D. Howard 21 Pts, 23 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl, 4 Blk

    Atlanta: J. Smith 19 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Howard scores 21, grabs 23 boards as Magic edge past Hawks

    Associated Press

    ATLANTA -- Despite the Orlando Magic's recent success, Dwight Howard still sees much room for improvement.

    "We didn't play with good enough energy like we needed to, so we really had to grind it out," he said. "We weren't focused at the beginning of the game. I talked to my guys and told them we've got to kick it up. We're playing for something right now."

    Big Man, Big Numbers

    Dwight Howard torched the Hawks with 21 points and 23 rebounds on Saturday, recording his NBA-record 23rd 20-20 game since the 2004-05 season. Here's a look at the company he keeps:

    Most 20+ Pt, 20+ Reb Games Since 2004-05 Season
    Player Games
    Dwight Howard 23
    Kevin Garnett 8
    Marcus Camby 5
    Chris Kaman 5
    Al Jefferson 4
    Amare Stoudemire 4

    Howard scored 21 points and tied a season high with 23 rebounds, helping the Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks 88-82 on Saturday night to pull within a half-game of tying for second place in the Eastern Conference.

    The 6-foot-11 center's performance marked the ninth time this season, and 23rd of his five-year career, that he's had at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game.

    Coming off a blowout home victory over East-leading Cleveland on Friday, the Magic have won of two straight, eight of nine and 11 of 13. They are four games behind the Cavaliers and trail the second-place Celtics by percentage points.

    2009 NBA Playoffs

    Want an in-depth look at the playoffs? Check out all the matchups, analysis and opinion here:

    • Playoff pages

    "Our approach to the game was really different than it was last night," Howard said. "For us to be a great team, we can't do that. If we want to be a championship team, every night has to be the same energy and effort."

    Joe Johnson scored 21 points for the Hawks, who have dropped three straight and six of eight. Atlanta dropped to 29-10 at home, where it has lost three of four.

    A pair of free throws by Johnson gave Atlanta its biggest lead at 57-47 at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter.

    "I thought we gave ourselves a pretty good lead," Johnson said. "We got a little complacent. We let fatigue become a factor. They made a run, and we never got back in the game."

    Howard hit two free throws with 2:32 remaining for a 13-point lead, Orlando's biggest.

    Rashard Lewis finished with 16 points, and Rafer Alston had 14 for the Magic, who improved to 13-2 overall and 7-1 on the road against the Southeast Division.

    Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy was proud his team kept its concentration high after beating Cleveland so convincingly, but with two days off before two sets of back-to-back games by next Saturday, he's unwilling to look ahead to the postseason.

    "Look, it's going to be one opponent and it's going to be two weeks of basketball," Van Gundy said. "Anything can happen. Anything that's in the playoffs is good enough if they hit a run where they're really playing well. I don't think anyone expected the Celtics-Hawks series last year to be what it was, but the Hawks hit a stretch where they were playing great. That can happen to anybody."

    Josh Smith had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta. Al Horford, who spent most of the night trying unsuccessfully to guard Howard, finished with 13 rebounds and 13 points.

    Atlanta never led after Lewis hit a 16-footer in the final seconds of the third. Next for the Hawks are games Tuesday in Houston and Wednesday against Memphis.

    The Rockets are looking ahead to the playoffs, but the Grizzlies have been eliminated despite beating Dallas on Friday.

    "Those teams are not going to lie down and say, 'Here, Atlanta, you can have it," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "That's the positive behind tonight's loss. We're still in the driver's seat."

    Game notes

    On consecutive possessions midway through the third, Howard and Smith took turns blocking each other's shots. ... Woodson indicated F Marvin Williams has shown no signs he'll be able to return to the lineup after missing the last 14 games with a lower back injury. ... Orlando, which began the game with the NBA's third-best defense in defending 3-pointers, held the Hawks to just 3-for-19 beyond the arc, including a combined 3-for-15 by Johnson and Mike Bibby. Offensively, the Magic hit just nine of 30 attempts on 3s. Lewis and Courtney Lee combined to go 4-for-13.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 88 82
    FGM-FGA 30-79 (.380) 30-77 (.390)
    3PM-3PA 9-30 (.300) 3-19 (.158)
    FTM-FTA 19-27 (.704) 19-26 (.731)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-51 8-44
    Assists 18 15
    Turnovers 13 14
    Steals 8 6
    Blocks 4 4
    Fast Break Points 21 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 25 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 13 10

    Top Performers

    Dwight Howard Howard
    Points: 21
    Reb: 23
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 4
    Josh Smith Smith
    Points: 19
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2