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Hawks flatted by Orlando
Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson goes up for a shot against Atlanta Hawks' Al Horford in Orlando on Saturday night. The Magic won 104-86. - photo by The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Dwight Howard had 31 points and 19 rebounds and the Orlando Magic coasted to a 104-86 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

The Magic took over first place in the Southeast Division with the victory and beat the Hawks for the third straight time this season. Rashard Lewis added 17 points, Ryan Anderson had 16 and J.J. Redick had eight points and a career-high seven assists as the Magic reserves had 32 points and 11 assists.

Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford had 19 points apiece for the Hawks, who shot only 39.5 percent in the game. Al Horford, selected to back up Howard in the All-Star Game, had only four points and four rebounds against Howard.

The Magic led 58-54 in the middle of the third quarter when Howard led a 16-2 spurt to make it 74-56. The Magic center had eight points in the run, including a coast-to-coast fastbreak that ended in a three-point play.

Howard tipped a defensive rebound toward halfcourt, beat Hawks' guard Mike Bibby to it, then dribbled the rest of the way for a dunk with Bibby hanging on his back. That made it 68-54 and though Johnson interrupted the run with a driving layup, the Magic went on to score six straight points and seize control of the game.

The only time the Hawks got the deficit under 10 after that was when Johnson made a 3-pointer that cut Atlanta's deficit to 81-72 with 8:41 left in the game.

Howard and the Magic reserves responded with a 14-5 run capped by Anderson's 3-pointer that made it 95-77 with 4:11 left.

A tip-in by Johnson gave the Hawks a 16-6 lead to start the game, but the Magic went on a 15-2 run to end the quarter with a 21-18 lead.

Anderson and Redick combined for 12 points in the second quarter as Orlando's reserves pushed the advantage to 42-34 before Atlanta's offense came alive.

The Hawks hit five straight jumpers, including a 10-footer by Crawford that cut the deficit to 46-44 with five seconds to play in the half.

However, Josh Smith fouled Jameer Nelson as he attempted a shot from just inside halfcourt and the Magic point guard made all three free throws to give Orlando a 49-44 halftime lead.

Notes: Magic coach Stan Van Gundy will be the East coach in the All-Star Game if the Magic defeat Detroit on Sunday. Van Gundy could also be the coach if Boston loses to the Lakers on Sunday. ... Orlando has beaten Atlanta six straight times. The average margin of victory is 18.5 points. ... Mike Bibby is shooting 13 of 40 in his past five games for the Hawks.

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