Carter leads Magic over HawksOct 24, 2009 - 3:50 AM ORLANDO, Fla.(AP) -- Vince Carter was 9 of 10 from the field and scored 26 points to lead the Orlando Magic to a 123-86 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night to cap the NBA's only unbeaten preseason.
The Magic (8-0) won their exhibition games by an average of 18 points.
Carter, acquired in an offseason trade with New Jersey, made all five of his 3-point attempts.
"If we are going to play for a championship, we wanted to hit the ground running," Carter said. "We didn't want to struggle at the beginning while everyone got acclimated to each other. So we worked hard early, and it's paid off."
Dwight Howard, the NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, had 25 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando.
Jamal Crawford had 14 points for the Hawks (5-2).
Ryan Anderson, who was in the trade that brought Carter to Orlando, had another strong showing, finishing with 18 points in 20 minutes. He scored the Magics first eight points of the game. He had 14 points and three rebounds in the opening 6 minutes when he outscored the Hawks by himself.
Anderson is expected to take the starting spot that later will belong to All-Star forward Rashard Lewis, who will miss the first 10 games serving an NBA suspension for violating the league's substance abuse program.
The Magic, defending Eastern Conference champions, went unbeaten in the preseason for the first time in franchise history.
"They are playing at a high level already," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said of the Magic. "They had a great taste of success last year by going to the finals, that puts you in a different light each night you step on the floor."
The game was never close, even though the Hawks used the starting lineup they expect to have when the regular season begins next week. Both teams open the season on Wednesday.
The Magic led 62-41 at halftime and 101-67 after three quarters.
"We progressed as the preseason went on, and I thought we progressed well," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Our depth is great. I thought we played well on both ends of the court."
NOTES: The Hawks will be trying to improve their record for the fifth consecutive season, having won 13, 26, 30, 37 and 47 games under Woodson. ... Although Van Gundy said he doesn't care much about winning in the preseason, he obviously has pushed his team to do well early. The Magic are 20-2 in the preseason since Van Gundy became coach in 2007.
ORLANDO 123 FINAL
Oct 23 10:28 PM
ORLANDO 101 END, 3RD QTR
Oct 23 9:55 PM
ORLANDO 62 HALFTIME
Oct 23 9:07 PM
ORLANDO 37 END, 1ST QTR
Oct 23 8:33 PM
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