Howard helps Magic even seriesApr 20, 2011 - 6:12 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard posted 33 points and 19 rebounds and got some much-needed help from his Magic teammates down the stretch in Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks, as Orlando evened this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with an 88-82 victory.
The Magic won despite having more turnovers than assists (16-9) and shooting a woeful 35 percent from the floor. They did so by making 29-of-36 from the foul line and holding a 52-39 rebounding advantage.
Jameer Nelson chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds and Hedo Turkoglu netted 10 points, including a critical layup in the closing minutes after Atlanta cut its deficit to two.
Jamal Crawford led the way with 25 points for the Hawks, who won the series opener, 103-93, even though Howard erupted for 46 points and 19 rebounds.
"We played good in stretches, but in other stretches [the Magic] did what they had to do. They were the aggressor," Crawford said.
The series shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday.
Howard did the heavy lifting in the early going, helping the Magic build a 78-66 cushion midway through the fourth quarter.
"I went with him all the way," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said of playing Howard the full 48 minutes. "He was outstanding...I thought everyone played very hard, and that's what it took to get a win."
But Atlanta, which never led in the second half, scored 10 straight points to pull within two when Al Horford blocked a Nelson shot along the perimeter, leading to his fastbreak dunk with 2:14 showing.
Howard almost committed a turnover at the other end, but Nelson maintained possession. Turkoglu eventually ended up with the ball, drove the right lane and put in a layup that hung on the back of the rim for a split second before falling through.
Horford was short on a rushed fadeaway on Atlanta's next touch, and Jason Richardson drained a back-breaking three-pointer from the right corner for an 83-76 lead with 1:08 remaining.
The Magic sewed up the win at the free throw line.
Crawford hit an off-balanced basket five feet beyond the three-point line to beat the first quarter buzzer for a 22-16 Hawks lead, then made back-to-back jumpers three minutes into the second quarter to push the margin to 10.
J.J. Redick sparked Orlando's turnaround when he stripped Kirk Hinrich near midcourt, dove for the loose ball and threw a behind-the-head pass to a streaking Nelson for a fastbreak layup. That basket was part of a 12-2 run that tied things at 34-all with 5:20 remaining in the half.
Howard's putback just before the break gave Orlando a 48-42 lead at halftime, aided in part by a 19-5 free throw attempt discrepancy and a 32-15 rebounding edge in the first half.
The Magic led throughout the third, which featured just four successful field goals from both sides. Turkoglu made one of those, stepping back for a three- pointer near the end of the frame for a 65-54 lead.
Howard, who was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year for a record third consecutive season on Monday, committed seven of Orlando's 16 turnovers...Josh Smith, playing through an elbow injury, scored 17 points for the Hawks, who got 14 points from Joe Johnson and 10 points and 10 rebounds from Horford...Atlanta shot 40 percent from the field and 11-of-17 from the free throw line.
- ATLANTA: 82
Apr 19 10:15 PM
- ATLANTA: 54
End of 3rd
Apr 19 9:31 PM
- ATLANTA: 42
Apr 19 8:47 PM
- ATLANTA: 22
End of 1st
Apr 19 8:10 PM
- ATLANTA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 19 7:44 PM
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