Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/26

Game 1: Thursday, November 26th
Game 2: Saturday, January 9th
Game 3: Saturday, January 30th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 24th

Magic 93

(12-4, 6-2 away)

Hawks 76

(11-4, 7-1 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    8:00 PM ET, November 26, 2009

    Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 23 16 28 2693
    ATL 25 26 14 1176

    Top Performers

    Orl: D. Howard 22 Pts, 17 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

    Atl: J. Johnson 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

    Howard double-double thwarts Hawks' attempt at league's best record

    Associated Press

    ATLANTA -- Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic made sure the Atlanta Hawks don't have illusions about their strong start.

    All it took was Magic coach Stan Van Gundy challenging Howard to play smarter and harder.

    Fast Facts

    • The Magic won for sixth time in seven games and have won four straight road games. It was also their fourth straight win against the Hawks.

    • The Hawks have lost two straight for the first time this season and suffered their first home loss, falling to 7-1.

    • Dwight Howard led the Magic with 22 points and 17 rebounds, ending a five-game streak of being held under 20 points. Vince Carter added 21 points.

    • The Magic outscored the Hawks 54-25 in the second half.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    "I came out in the second half and just trusted my teammates," Howard said. "They made some open shots and I tried to dominate the paint. It doesn't matter if we're down 20, we're going to continue to fight."

    Howard had 22 points and 17 rebounds, Vince Carter added 21 points and the Magic beat Atlanta 93-76 on Thursday night.

    The Hawks dropped to 11-4 in a failed bid to tie Phoenix for the NBA's best record. They also missed a chance to improve to 8-0 at home for the first time since 1993-94.

    Orlando wiped away the disappointment of a one-point home loss to Miami on Wednesday night with its sixth win in seven games.

    "I said to them at halftime, 'The question is, does anybody want to play?' " Van Gundy said. "I think we were pouting. We were tired. It's easy to make an excuse, but at the end of the day they're going to give you a W or an L. Nobody cares how long they've been rested or anything else. Nobody cares."

    Atlanta, which has dropped two straight following a seven-game winning streak, blew a 14-point lead after Joe Johnson banked in a jumper to begin the third quarter.

    The defending Eastern Conference champion Magic went on a 25-10 run that ended with Carter's three-point play and a 64-63 advantage with 2:09 left in the third.

    "We were playing against one of the top teams in the East," Johnson said. "We showed no signs of urgency in the second half."

    Johnson finished with 22 points for the Hawks, a half-game behind Orlando for the Eastern Conference and Southeast Division lead.

    Atlanta's half-court offense fell into a deep funk after Marvin Williams hit an 18-footer to give the Hawks a 57-44 lead with 10:26 left in the third.

    Over its next 34 possessions, Atlanta managed just six field goals.

    "It was like we forgot how we got the lead," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We played so differently in the second half, so we have to go break this tape down and figure out why that is."

    Howard had 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots in the second half.

    "When he's in attack mode, we're a different team," Carter said. "Our focus was better in the second half. We were limiting them to one shot. We took care of the boards and the ball."

    Reserve guard Anthony Johnson, who averaged 1.6 points over his first 20 games this season, scored 17 points in 21 minutes. His 3-pointer with 6:58 remaining gave the Magic their first double-digit lead of the game at 79-69.

    Howard's dunk with 2:25 left put Orlando ahead 87-73.

    "The last couple of games I haven't been aggressive enough," Howard said. "Tonight I just kept asking for the ball, and we played inside-out, and it was successful for us."

    Josh Smith was the Hawks' second-leading scorer with 13 points.

    Game notes

    Mike Bibby started despite leaving the Hawks' last game, a loss in New Orleans on Saturday night, with a sprained left ankle. He finished with 10 points on 4 for 11 shooting. ... Atlanta wore red uniforms with "ATL" stitched on the front of the jerseys for the first time. ... The Hawks announced a crowd of 19,193 for their second sellout this season. ... Orlando has won four straight at Philips Arena.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 76
    FGM-FGA 35-80 (.438) 33-85 (.388)
    3PM-3PA 10-31 (.323) 7-19 (.368)
    FTM-FTA 13-20 (.650) 3-7 (.429)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-53 11-41
    Assists 15 18
    Turnovers 13 13
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 6 3
    Fast Break Points 5 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 12 (3/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 17 14

    Top Performers

    Dwight Howard Howard
    Points: 22
    Reb: 17
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 4
    Joe Johnson Johnson
    Points: 22
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0