Horford backs Hawks over Magic
Orlando, FL – Al Horford notched his seventh straight double- double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, as the Atlanta Hawks held off the Orlando Magic, 86-80, on Wednesday.
Josh Smith added 16 points, 11 boards and five blocks for the Hawks, who have won eight straight against Orlando. Jeff Teague also had 16 points.
Arron Afflalo ended with 16 points to pace the Magic, who have lost three of four. J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson donated 13 and 12 points, respectively.
"It was another game where we defended well in the halfcourt, and we turned it over and gave them opportunities to score the basketball, made it easy on 'em. We are what we are right now; we're a high-turnover team," Redick said.
The Hawks jumped out to a 19-6 lead with 3:29 left in the first quarter. However, Orlando closed out the period on a 9-1 spurt to cut the gap to 20-15.
The Magic went on a 10-2 run early in the second stanza to take their lone lead of the game. Redick's jumper with 6:36 remaining gave the home team a 27-26 edge.
Atlanta responded with six straight points to go back in front for good. The Hawks went on to score the final nine points of the half to build a 46-34 margin.
The Hawks used an 8-0 flurry early in the third quarter to make it a 57-38 contest. Atlanta took a 72-60 lead into the fourth.
Orlando failed to go down without a fight. Trailing 84-74 with 4:55 to play, the Magic scored four straight points to make things interesting. Andrew Nicholson's layup and E'Twaun Moore's jumper cut the gap to 84-78 with 2:10 to go.
Teague stopped the small spurt with a jumper. Moore countered with a driving layup with 1:02 left.
Neither team scored the rest of the way.
"Orlando made us fight for it," Horford said. "Even when you thought they were out of the game, they just kept coming."
Atlanta improved to 6-3 on the road this season ... The Hawks shot 43.8 percent from the field, while the Magic made 38.3 percent of their shots ... Orlando turned the ball over 16 times, leading to 24 Atlanta points.