Crawford helps Hawks overcome Magic, Howard in Game 3Apr 23, 2011 - 3:56 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Jamal Crawford scored 12 of his 23 points in a chippy fourth quarter, including a three-pointer off the backboard in the final seconds, as the Atlanta Hawks held on for an 88-84 victory over Orlando to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.
Crawford played nearly 29 minutes off the bench and sparked a key run during the fourth, helping the Hawks lock down the pivotal Game 3. Joe Johnson added 21 points, Josh Smith scored 15 with 10 rebounds and Al Horford had 13 points.
"We wanted to come home and really establish ourselves, particularly in the first [game]," said Hawks head coach Larry Drew. "We thought that coming into the game that they were going to give us their best shot, and I thought they did."
Dwight Howard collected 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Magic, while Jameer Nelson also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists.
Orlando dressed 11 players with guard Chris Duhon sitting because of a sprained left ankle. There is a chance both teams could be shorthanded for Game 4 on Sunday after an altercation with 2:22 remaining led to the ejections of Magic guard Jason Richardson and Hawks center Zaza Pachulia.
The lead changed hands four times after the scrum under Orlando's basket.
Crawford missed a technical free throw and Howard knocked down 1-of-2 at the line to draw the Magic within 81-80. Nelson gave Orlando its first lead since early in the fourth, hitting a pull-up jumper from the right side to make it 82-81.
Johnson made two free throws at the other end to put Atlanta back on top, but Brandon Bass responded with a jumper to make it 84-83 Magic with 1:01 remaining.
They were Orlando's final points of the game.
Horford's jump shot at the other end was Atlanta's first field goal in 5:43 and gave the Hawks the lead for good at 85-84. Hedo Turkoglu missed a three- pointer for Orlando, and Crawford sealed the game with a virtuoso shot.
Dribbling behind his back for some room near the top of the key, he threw up a three-pointer with Nelson's hand in his face. It hit off the backboard and dropped in, giving the Hawks an 88-84 lead with 5.7 seconds left.
J.J. Redick had a three-pointer roll out for Orlando, and the clock ticked off to zero as the rebound bounced around.
The Magic shot just 8-for-28 on three-pointers, with Turkoglu hitting just one of his six tries. Orlando's big gun is now only 3-for-17 in the series from long range.
"He's not shooting the ball well, so he ends up taking bad shots," said Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy. "He gets more hesitant, then it's a vicious cycle that we've got to get him out of. Clearly, we need him to shoot the ball a lot better and to make better decisions on when to shoot it."
It was fitting that Crawford put the finishing touches on the win. Earlier in the fourth, he sparked a 10-0 run with a four-point play after getting fouled by Ryan Anderson in the right corner.
The competitive fourth was marred by the quasi-fight between Pachulia and Richardson, which could lead either player (or both) to be suspended.
Pachulia's hard foul on Howard led to the incident. The Hawks center reacted strongly to taking an elbow from Howard on the play, spinning to yell for a foul. He came together with Richardson in the paint, head-butting him at least once as the two jawed.
Richardson responded with an open-palm left hand to Pachulia's face and had to be restrained by Howard under the basket. The players were ejected after referees looked at the replay, and Howard was issued a technical foul.
The Hawks controlled most of the game. They opened with a 9-2 run and held the lead until Orlando closed the first quarter with a 10-3 run to tie it, 25-25, heading into the second.
Atlanta used an 11-1 burst to take the largest lead of the game by any team, going ahead 47-33 on Kirk Hinrich's step-back jumper in the lane with 2:15 remaining in the half.
The Hawks carried a 51-42 lead into halftime and a 66-62 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Orlando shot 42.5 percent, while Atlanta shot 42 percent...The Magic committed 10 turnovers, leading to 15 Atlanta points...Howard entered the game averaging 39.5 points and 19 rebounds in the series...Atlanta improved to 3-9 against Orlando in the playoffs.
- ORLANDO: 84
Apr 22 10:44 PM
- ORLANDO: 62
End of 3rd
Apr 22 9:59 PM
- ORLANDO: 42
Apr 22 9:14 PM
- ORLANDO: 25
End of 1st
Apr 22 8:38 PM
- ORLANDO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 22 8:11 PM
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