Magic Fall to Hawks in Overtime

By Sean Rollins

Last April, the Atlanta Hawks knocked the Orlando Magic out of the playoffs when the Magic shooters shot just 26.2%.  Friday night the Magic got their first rematch with the Hawks at the Amway Center in Orlando but fell in overtime 89-87.


The Hawks (18-9) got off to a great early start when they went on a 12-2 run and led by nine with 5:41 remaining in the first.  But the Magic (16-11) responded immediately with a 10-0 run of their own and took a 17-16 lead.  That was the first of what would be ten lead changes following those two runs.  Ryan Anderson hit a layup with under three seconds left in the half before Marvin Williams hit a half-court heave to give Atlanta a three point halftime lead.


The game stayed within five for most of the third quarter until Atlanta went on a 6-0 run to end the third.  They would take a seven point lead into the fourth.  Atlanta pushed their lead up to nine in the fourth quarter as Ryan Anderson scored the first eight Magic points.  Orlando cut the Hawks lead to three, 73-70, with 4:32 left after Anderson hit two free throws.  Atlanta then scored five unanswered points aided by three straight Magic turnovers to push their lead back to eight.


The Magic answered that run by scoring the next eight points to tie the game.  Dwight Howard pulled down a Josh Smith miss with a two point deficit and as the Magic crossed half court called timeout.  On the ensuing possession, Jameer Nelson drove the lane and missed a layup but Dwight Howard was there to slam home the tying bucket with 1.3 seconds remaining.  Atlanta had a shot to win it at the buzzer but Jeff Teague’s floater went off the back of the rim and the game went to overtime.


The overtime period got off to a good start for Hedo Turkoglu and the Magic with Turkoglu scoring their first five point of the extra period.  But Atlanta matched each shot with one of their own.  With an 83-83 game, Joe Johnson took control for Atlanta hitting a tear-drop and a turnaround jumper to give the Hawks a four point lead with 1:43 left.   A Ryan Anderson three got the Magic to within one with 1:04 remaining but, despite forcing a Josh Smith turnover, were unable to obtain the lead.  They were forced to foul Marvin Williams with 15.8 seconds left and Williams only hit one of the two free throws giving the Magic a shot.  Jason Richardson got the ball and drove the baseline but, like Williams, was only able to hit the first one.   Zaza Pachulia got the rebound and went to the line for Atlanta but only hit one out of his two and the Magic got the ball back down two with 10 seconds left.  Jason Richardson took a three of the inbounds but missed.  The rebound was kicked out to Jameer Nelson but he missed too and for the second time this week, the Magic fell in overtime.


The Magic were led again by Dwight Howard who scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds.  With seven minutes left in the third quarter Howard was called for a forearm push against Zaza Pachulia’s chest.  Howard wasn’t happy about the call as he turned to the referee and was subsequently assessed his seventh technical foul of the season.


Ryan Anderson led the team in scoring with 28 points.  Twelve of those 28 came in the fourth quarter comeback by the Magic.  Jameer Nelson scored 15, Jason Richardson scored 14, and Hedo Turkoglu ended the game with 10 points after scoring five in overtime.


The Hawks were led by Josh Smith who scored 23 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, and blocked three shots.  Joe Johnson, Jeff Teague, and Marvin Williams also scored in double digits for Atlanta.


The Magic we’re trying to win the fifth of their last sixth game but instead lost their second heartbreaker of the week.  They’ll have to recover quickly though as they travel to Wisconsin for a game Saturday night.


Up Next: The Magic will travel to Milwaukee to face the Bucks (11-14) Saturday night.  The Bucks are also coming off of an overtime game against Cleveland as they are also playing a back-to-back.

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