Hawks head into All-Star break with win over MagicFeb 24, 2012 - 5:40 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Josh Smith had 22 points and 12 rebounds on Thursday, leading the Hawks to an 83-78 win over the Magic.
Atlanta had lost three in a row and eight of 11 and was playing without leading scorer Joe Johnson, but got 15 points from Jannero Pargo and 14 from Willie Green to head into the All-Star break with a win.
"It's a great way to end that streak," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "I think, coming into this game a little shorthanded, I didn't know what I was gonna get from the team."
Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, who will host this weekend's All-Star festivities. They saw their two-game win streak come to an end despite getting 13 points from J.J. Redick, 11 from Hedo Turkoglu and 10 from Ryan Anderson.
The Hawks were up 55-39 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the third when a Chris Duhon jumper and back-to-back three-pointers from Anderson and Turkoglu pulled Orlando within eight, 55-47.
Smith stopped the run with a three, but the Magic answered with eight straight, capped by four in a row from Duhon, to make it 58-55 after three.
They tied it on their first touch of the fourth, as Redick intercepted an errant pass from Smith and nailed a trey in transition.
The Hawks, buoyed by Green, managed to keep Orlando at bay down the stretch.
They were up 69-68 with less than five minutes to play when Green made a three-pointer and a short jumper in succession.
Howard responded with a three-point play, but Green drove baseline on the other end and let loose a floater which arched over the outstretched arm of Howard and found the bottom of the net, making it 76-71 with a minute left.
An Orlando turnover then led to 1-of-2 free throws from Smith and Atlanta was not threatened the rest of the way.
"Clearly, they played a lot harder than we did," said Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. "It wasn't even close. We're not gonna be anywhere near contenders in the (Eastern Conference) unless we play hard all the time and we simply don't do that."
While Green was pivotal late, Pargo was strong early, scoring all 15 of his points in a first half which saw the Hawks hold a 29-20 lead after one and a 47-30 advantage at the break.
The Magic, meanwhile, managed just 10 second-quarter points. They have dropped five straight to the Hawks.
Johnson is out through the All-Star break with tendinitis in his left knee...Despite the loss, the Magic head into the break having won six of their last eight...Orlando shot just 37.8 percent from the field, while Atlanta shot 39.7 percent.
- ORLANDO: 78
Feb 23 10:02 PM
- ORLANDO: 78
End of Regulation
Feb 23 10:02 PM
- ORLANDO: 55
End of 3rd
Feb 23 9:17 PM
- ORLANDO: 30
Feb 23 8:37 PM
- ORLANDO: 20
End of 1st
Feb 23 8:07 PM
- ORLANDO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 23 7:43 PM
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