Hawks ease by Magic 108-76

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Courtesy of Orlando Magic

J.J. Redick aiming for the basket for two of his eight points versus the Hawks.

ORLANDO – Josh Smith had 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Atlanta Hawks as they defeated the Orlando Magic 108-76 on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at the Amway Center.

Smith’s 30 points were good enough to out school the Magic’s three top scorers for the game combined.

“I was just playing relaxed and didn’t force anything,” said Smith about his performance. “I took what the defense gave me and everything was working tonight.”

Jameer Nelson and Andrew Nicholson had 10 points each, while teammate Arron Afflalo added nine points of his own. The three combined for 29 points, one short of Smith’s game leading 30.

“We started off the game pretty good,” said Nelson. “They turned it up; we couldn’t get a rebound for a while there. We couldn’t get a stop, make shots, other things. They just outplayed us in every aspect of the game.”

The Hawks used a 13-4 run to jump out to a 38-23 lead with 7:52 left to play in the second quarter. Atlanta’s center Al Horford had six of the team’s 13 points during the run.

Atlanta had a 12-1 run in the first half which gave the Hawks a 53-28 lead with 2:53 left in the quarter.

Al Horford and Josh Smith led all scorers with 15 points each at halftime. Horford had nine of his 15 points in the second quarter.

The Magic finished the quarter on a 8-4 run to narrow the Hawks lead to 57-36 going into halftime. Orlando was outscored by Atlanta 32-17 during the second quarter.

“At the end of the day, as simple as it can be, you have to be ready to compete every night especially with the remaining games that we have,” said Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn. “We’re going to play a lot of playoff teams jockeying for position and our mental approach has to be sharp going into every game.”

Atlanta used 15 third quarter points from Josh Smith to outscore Orlando 33-20 in the third quarter as the Magic entered the fourth trailing by 34 points.

Both Smith and Horford sat out the entire fourth quarter for the Hawks.

“We haven’t been in that position very often to where we’ve been able to rest both guys,” said Hawks head coach Larry Drew about resting both players. “I knew going towards the end of the third quarter, had we just sustained some type of rhythm of what we were doing, I was going to rest both guys in the fourth quarter.”

The Hawks had an 8-2 run early in the fourth quarter and jumped out to their biggest lead of the night. Atlanta led Orlando by 38 points with 9:20 remaining in the final quarter. Both teams played mostly reserves in the fourth quarter.

With the loss the Magic go into the all-Star break with a 15-37 record, which is second worst in the NBA next to the Charlotte Bobcats.
“It’s just a break, not a vacation,” said Vaughn about the all-Star break. “It’s a break to clear your mind a little bit, let your body rejuvenate, and get ready for the remaining games.
“The break, if you use it the right way, it’s great for you.”
Orlando’s next game will be against those same last place Bobcats on Tuesday Feb. 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the Amway Center.