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Howard paces Magic past Hawks

Nov 9, 2010 - 7:33 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard provided 27 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Orlando Magic offset their uncharacteristically poor three-point shooting in a 93-89 win over Atlanta.

Howard went 10-of-20 from the field and 7-of-11 from the free-throw line for the Magic, who have won five of six to begin the season and all four games at their new arena. Vince Carter added 19 points, while J.J. Redick had 11 in a reserve role.

The Magic, normally a solid three-point shooting team, won despite making only 4-of-22 from beyond the arc.

Joe Johnson had 23 points for the Hawks, who faced their division rival for the first time since being swept by Orlando in the playoffs last season. Josh Smith contributed with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Al Horford and Jamal Crawford had 16 and 14 points, respectively, in defeat.

Atlanta has now lost two straight following a season-opening six-game win streak.

"To beat the top echelon teams, the top playoff teams, we have to be more disciplined on both ends of the floor, especially coming down the stretch," Johnson said. "Just from last night (vs. Phoenix) and tonight, we made crucial mistakes down the stretch in both games."

The Hawks grabbed their first lead since midway through the second, 80-79, on a Johnson 13-foot jumper just past the six-minute mark of the fourth. But Jason Williams came back with one of the few Orlando three-pointers to give the Magic an 84-82 lead with 4:15 to go.

Lewis drained a 21-foot jumper to extend the Magic lead to four a short time later, and the Hawks went cold from the floor, missing four straight shots before pulling to within two on a Crawford jumper with 2:09 left.

Carter answered with a layup with 1:12 to go, and he hit a free throw with 36.5 ticks showing on the clock to extend the Orlando lead to 89-84. Johnson made a three-pointer 2.5 seconds later to make it a two-point game, but Carter's layup with 15.5 seconds remaining pushed the margin back to four.

Atlanta again closed the gap to two on a Horford hook shot, but Redick drilled a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to seal the outcome.

The Hawks led by as many as 13 in the opening quarter, but the Magic pulled to within 23-21 after 12 minutes of play. Orlando moved ahead, 51-47, at halftime.

"It was great to see that we weren't going to give up," said Howard. "The Hawks came out and made a lot of shots early and seemed like they didn't want to miss. Earlier we couldn't buy a basket, but instead of holding our heads and arguing with each other or fighting, we took a stand."

Neither team led by more than six for the entire third quarter, and Crawford's two free throws in the final second sent Atlanta into the fourth trailing, 72-70.

Game Notes

The Magic beat the Hawks by at least 14 points in each game of last season's playoff series...Orlando guard Jameer Nelson (ankle) did not play...Atlanta forward Marvin Williams (knee bruise) sat out...The Magic have won eight of the last 10 regular season meetings with Atlanta...The Hawks, who went 4- for-13 from three-point range, suffered their first road loss this season (4-1).