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Orlando staves off elimination, topples Atlanta

Apr 27, 2011 - 4:58 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Jason Richardson returned to the lineup and led the way with 17 points, as the Orlando Magic staved off elimination with a resounding 101-76 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

J.J. Redick netted 14 points off the bench and Ryan Anderson chipped in 11 points and seven boards in a reserve role for Orlando, which took the first step in trying to become only the ninth team in NBA history to come back and win a playoff series after trailing by a 3-1 deficit.

The last team to accomplish the feat was the 2006 Phoenix Suns, who came back to beat the Lakers in the first round.

Dwight Howard was limited to eight points and eight boards in just under 29 minutes of action after the star center got into early foul trouble.

The series moves back to Atlanta for Game 6 on Thursday.

"From the time we lost Game 1 ... we knew we had to win a game in Atlanta. We didn't get it done the first two times. We're going to have to get it done on Thursday," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said.

Josh Smith led all scorers with 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who got 12 points from Marvin Williams in a reserve role.

Richardson and Hawks center Zaza Pachulia had been suspended for Game 4 after they were involved in an altercation late in Game 3. Pachulia was held to four points and two assists in his return.

After Howard picked up two quick fouls early in the first, Redick took over, scoring the final six points of a 13-1 run to give the Magic a 21-9 lead with 2:06 remaining. Pachulia snapped the burst with a pair of free throws, but Redick made a jumper, then completed a three-point play to put his squad up by 15 and they settled for a 26-13 advantage after 12 minutes.

"We lost our composure very early in the game," Hawks head coach Larry Drew said. "We took bad shots and had blown defensive assignments."

Orlando dictated play throughout the second and went up by 23 points, 46-23, following Howard's putback dunk with just under five minutes to go before the half.

The Magic kept their foot on the gas with an up-tempo pace, going ahead by as many as 24 in the quarter. Richardson and Jameer Nelson both made driving layups in the final seconds for a healthy 58-35 lead at the break.

The Magic were determined not to have their season end on their home floor, as the advantage never dipped below 21 in the third quarter. Richardson drained a corner three to make it a 28-point game with 4:17 left in the third and Orlando was up 79-53 heading into the fourth.

Atlanta never threatened the outcome in the final quarter, trailing by as many as 32 points.

Game Notes

The two teams have met twice in the postseason previously, last year's 4-0 shellacking by Orlando along with a 4-1 Magic win in the 1995-96 Eastern Conference semifinals...Al Horford had nine points and 14 rebounds for the Hawks...Nelson had nine points and five assists in the victory...Orlando shot 41 percent from the field and made 11-of-26 from three-point range...Atlanta made only 36.2 percent of its shots and 4-of-16 from beyond the arc.