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Hawks hexed by Magic

POSTED: January 9, 2009 11:49 p.m.
Phelan M. Ebenhack/The Associated Press

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard reacts after dunking the ball in front of Atlanta Hawks guard Mike Bibby, left, during Friday's game in Orlando, Fla.

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ORLANDO, Fla. — The second half of a home-and-home series was over by halftime.

The Orlando Magic won their 11th straight home game and put on their most devastating offensive show of the season in routing the Atlanta Hawks 121-87 on Friday night.

The Magic starters, led by Hedo Turkoglu’s 21 points, were a combined 24-of-39 from the field, including 10-of-13 from 3-point range. Orlando scored a season-high 41 points in the first quarter, then tied its season highs for points in a half (71) and game.

The Magic also tied a season high with 16 3-pointers. Turkoglu hit all five of his attempts from long range and reserve J.J. Redick was 4-of-5 from behind the arc while scoring a season-high 15 points. Dwight Howard had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson added 14 points and nine assists.

"I don’t think anybody is too concerned with our record, we’re just trying to play healthy basketball," Nelson said. "We have a good team, but we know we have to get better. We aren’t the best team we could be. We can still get better."

The win gave the Magic a sweep of their back-to-back series with the Hawks and improved their home record to 16-3 this season. Orlando was just 25-16 mark at home last year.

"We’re definitely playing better at home this season," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Last year, we didn’t often see the kind of energy we’ve seen the last month coming out of the gate hard and sustaining it for the whole game."

The Hawks starters, by contrast, were only 15-of-48 from the field and only Joe Johnson reached double figures with 11. Acie Law scored 16 and fellow reserve Solomon Jones added 12 points and eight rebounds for Atlanta.

"I’m not real happy," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "We just didn’t compete tonight and it started with the five guys that started the game. That’s unacceptable. We’ve got to go back and address that. I want these guys to understand that’s unacceptable."

"They hit us first and we never hit back," Johnson said. "They wanted it more than us."

The game was decided early and decisively when the Magic ran off a season-high 41 points in the first quarter tied its season high for a half. The Magic held the Hawks to just 25 percent shooting over the first two quarters (10-of-40) and led 71-33 by halftime.

Orlando hit 11 of its first 12 shots, including three straight 3-pointers, and ran off 14 straight points in a stretch where all five starters scored. Rashard Lewis ended that run with a pair of free throws that made it 22-4.

Redick came off the bench and connected on three straight 3-pointers and two free throws to help push the Magic lead to 41-18 by the end of the first period.

Atlanta contributed to its own misery by missing the first six shots of the second period while the Magic ran off 13 straight points to make it 54-18. The lead grew to 69-30 on a 3-pointer by Courtney Lee with 2:15 left in the quarter.

Orlando shot 60 percent for the half (24-of-40), including 8-of-12 on 3-pointers. Each of the nine players seeing action scored at least three points and seven of the nine had at least one assist.

Turkoglu started the second half with a 3-pointer and the Magic tied their season high for points and led by as many as 50.Notes: Atlanta gave up 73 first-half points against the Magic last March 10. The Magic are 10-0 in games in which they hold the opposition to under 40 percent shooting from the field. Lewis leads the NBA with 109 3-pointers. Hawks G Mike Bibby is second with 88. Hawks C Al Horford, who played at Florida, attended Thursday’s BCS title game between the Gators and Oklahoma.



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