7:00 PM ET, December 6, 2010
Amway Center, Orlando, FL
And just as important, they kept winning without All-Star Joe Johnson.
Smith had 19 points and 13 rebounds, Mike Bibby made a critical 3-pointer in the final minute and the Hawks beat the Magic 80-74 on Monday night.
It was Atlanta's first win in Orlando since Oct. 29, 2008. The Hawks had lost 11 of 12 to the Magic, including a four-game sweep in last year's playoffs.
"Orlando has basically owned us so yeah, this is a big win," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "I don't know if this breaks a spell or not, but I thought our guys did a great job from start to finish."
Atlanta shot 39 percent (33 of 85) from the field, but played solid defense all night, limiting Orlando to 38 percent shooting, including 4 of 22 from 3-point range.
Orlando, which trailed by nine in the fourth, closed to 73-70 on Carter's three-point play with 40 seconds left. Bibby responded with a 3-pointer over Chris Duhon with 26.1 seconds remaining to help seal the victory.
Normally, Atlanta would go to Johnson in that situation, but the shooting guard is out with an elbow injury. Instead, they called on Bibby, who came up with the big shot.
"We know that without Joe we have to do things a little different," Drew said. "We're running less isolation plays and maybe becoming a little less predictable. Mike is certainly capable of hitting big shots and he proved it tonight."
The Magic got Howard, J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus back from bouts with a stomach virus, but none of them looked 100 percent. Howard had six of Orlando's 17 turnovers as the Magic struggled offensively for much of the game.
"It was a bad basketball game and we just played worse than they did," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I know we're better than we played tonight. We didn't even play a good three-minute stretch in the game."
Crawford scored six points in an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter that put the Hawks up 62-55. Bibby's 3 with 2:45 left gave Atlanta its largest lead of the game at 71-62.
The Magic, still dealing with the stomach flu with point guard Jameer Nelson out, came back, but couldn't get a defensive stop when they needed it in the final minute.
Neither team scored more than 19 points or shot better than 38 percent in each of the first three periods. Smith, who also blocked four shots, dunked with 29 seconds left in the third to give Atlanta a 54-53 lead.
The Hawks led 36-34 at halftime, despite shooting 36 percent in the first two periods. Horford had 10 points and Smith added nine points and 11 rebounds, but the rest of the Hawks combined to hit seven of 31 shots.
Orlando struggled even more, hitting 12 of 37 shots (32 percent), including just 2 of 12 from 3-point range.
The Magic's only successful offensive stretch early on was sparked by a hustle play by Duhon late in the first quarter. Duhon dove two rows out of bounds to tip a pass to Redick, who finished the circus play with a layup at the other end.
Duhon got stuck in between the sideline seats and missed the next defensive possession altogether, returning in time to take an outlet pass from Bass and hit Redick for a 3-pointer on Orlando's next possession.
The impressive stretch was part of a 7-0 run that helped the Magic make up a nine-point deficit and pull even with the Hawks at 19-all through one.
Hawks G Maurice Evans, who shot 28 percent in three starts in Johnson's place, returned to a reserve role. ... Orlando lost for the first time in 12 games this season when giving up less than 90 points.
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 6: Chris Duhon #25 of the Orlando Magic shoots a lay up against the Atlanta Hawks on...(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||33-85 (.388)||28-74 (.378)|
|3PM-3PA||5-14 (.357)||4-22 (.182)|
|FTM-FTA||9-12 (.750)||14-21 (.667)|
|Fast Break Points||2||8|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (1/0)||19 (0/0)|
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