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Hawks win third in a row

POSTED: December 22, 2007 5:02 a.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Josh Smith had 25 points and a season-high 16 rebounds and Joe Johnson scored 24 points as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Orlando Magic 98-87 on Monday night.

It was Orlando’s second straight loss, and its first losing streak this season. Atlanta won its third straight.

The Hawks led all but the opening 90 seconds, and held Orlando’s prolific 3-point shooters in check almost all game. Orlando shot a season-low 39.7 percent, though Atlanta wasn’t much better. The Hawks shot 42.7 percent, but capitalized on 19 Magic turnovers for 29 points.

Hedo Turkoglu led Orlando with 22 points, while Dwight Howard had 14 points and 18 rebounds, Rashard Lewis scored 15 points and Keith Bogans added 12. Howard was just 6-of-14 from the free throw line.

Anthony Johnson had 15 points and five assists for Atlanta, and Smith added four blocks and five assists.

Atlanta led 49-41 at halftime, and blew the game open early in the third quarter with an 8-2 run over a 1:45 span. The Hawks took their biggest lead, 59-44, on Marvin Williams’ turnaround jumper with 8:55 left in the third quarter.

The Magic finally made a run two minutes later. Despite missing several open shots — including at least three open 3s — Orlando finished the quarter on a 12-4 run and trailed 69-63 entering the fourth.

The Magic drew to 75-72 on consecutive 3s from Turkoglu and Keyon Dooling, then didn’t score for the next 3:42.

Smith hit a pivotal layup to put Atlanta up by eight with just under three minutes left, and Anthony Johnson drained a 3-pointer to make it 88-77 with under two remaining.

Shelden Williams had 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds in 12 minutes, but didn’t play in the second half. The Hawks forward came up holding his right elbow after Jameer Nelson undercut him on a fastbreak layup in the second quarter. Rookie Al Horford played only eight minutes because of foul trouble. Horford couldn’t handle Howard, getting two fouls in the first three minutes and picking up his fourth early in the third quarter.

Notes: Turkoglu saved Orlando from tying its worst first quarter shooting percentage of the season (33 percent) with a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in the period. Joe Johnson upstaged him the next play with a 17-footer before the buzzer, confirmed by replay. ... Hawks G Acie Law IV dived deep into the stands after a loose ball in the fourth quarter but came up OK. ... Atlanta was 3-1 against the Magic last season, but Orlando had won five of its last six at home in the series.



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