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Hawks 81, Magic 72: Orlando craters after first quarter as Atlanta hangs on

The Hawks blew open what had been a close game and led by 24 in the fourth period. The loss is Orlando's second in as many days.

Glen Davis and Josh Smith
Glen Davis and Josh Smith
Kevin C. Cox

The Orlando Magic fixed their first-quarter futility problem in Monday's game against the Atlanta Hawks, shooting 50 percent and scoring 23 points in the opening 12 minutes. That's the only thing Orlando fixed on Monday, however, as the Hawks cruised to a 81-72 victory. The final score might give the impression that the game was close, but rest assured, it wasn't: Atlanta led by as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter before Orlando made a rally that was both too little and too late.

The Hawks made their hay in the second and third quarters, outscoring the Magic, 44-26, and limiting Orlando to 28.6 percent shooting.

No one Hawk took control of the game, but rather a total team effort carried the host Hawks to victory. Al Horford led the team with 15 points and nine boards, but five other Hawks scored at least eight points.

Turnovers once again tell the story for Orlando, which scored fewer than 80 points for the fourth time on the season: Atlanta turned the Magic's 24 miscues into 24 points. E'Twaun Moore committed seven--although, in fairness to him, two of those came when he stepped on the endline while trying to corral loose balls--and two other players committed three apiece.

Playing through illness, Orlando's starting backcourt of J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson proved ineffective. The pair combined for 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Glen Davis was the only Magic player to score in double figures: he scored 11, but missed eight of his 13 shot attempts.

Orlando's speedy, young second unit made a bit of a comeback to force Hawks coach Larry Drew to call upon his starters late in the game.

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