Who?: Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic
What?: Hawks win 86-80, extend winning streak over Magic to eight straight
Where?: Amway Center (Orlando, FL)
When?: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012
How?: Total team effort
The Atlanta Hawks outlasted the Magic 86-80 Wednesday night, extending the winning-streak to eight straight over Orlando, including a 2-0 advantage this season.
Josh Smith paced five Hawks in double-figures with team-high’s of 16 points and five blocks, while adding 11 rebounds and three assists to his stat sheet. Al Horford posted his seventh consecutive double-double performance with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Jeff Teague added 16 points, four boards, three assists and three steals. Guards Lou Williams (11) and Devin Harris (10) also reached double-figures in the contest.
Aaron Afflalo led the Magic with 16 points, on 6-of-16 shooting, while J.J. Reddick (13), Jameer Nelson (12), E’Twuan Moore (11), and Glen Davis (10) also reached double-figures.
The Hawks jumped out to an early 16-2 lead, including a 10-0 start, but the Magic rallied back and cut the first quarter deficit to 19-15 with Nelson’s 3-pointer before Atlanta sank a free-throw to end the period up 20-15.
Orlando continued to scrap away and eventually clawed their way to a 27-26 lead with 6:35 remaining in Q2, but only held the advantage for a brief moment.
30 seconds later, Devin Harris found Zaza Pachulia for an easy layup to put the Hawks back on top 28-27. They never looked back.
Atlanta ended the half leading 46-34, came out of the locker room at halftime, and cruised to a 86-80 victory.
With the win, the Hawks only trail the Heat by 0.5 games in the Southeast Division after Miami lost on a buzz beater against the Golden State Warriors Wednesday.
If Atlanta can handle the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday, they move into a 2-way tie for 1st place.
Points: 3 tied with (16)
Rebounds: Al Horford (13)
Assists: 4 tied with (4)
Steals: Glen Davis (4)
Blocks: Josh Smith (5)
Game Grades: Each player is given a grade on an A+ through F scale based upon their game performance.
Jeff Teague: B
Teague finally put together an efficient outing. After stringing together six straight games of shooting under 50 percent. His stat line of 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists isn’t going to wow you. But he shot 7-12 from the field and 2-4 from three. He also notched three steals. It’s not exactly going to land him any All-Star ballots, but it’s nice to see him bounce back.
Devin Harris: C+
Harris is decidedly average. Every once in a while he’ll throw out a curve ball game, but mostly he falls right in line with our expectations. He finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He shot 4-8 from the field and 1-4 from three. He’s shooting 29 percent from downtown for the season, so feels free to yell at your TV every time he launches one. I know I am.
Anthony Morrow: F
He just couldn’t connect. He had solid looks the entire night and only managed an abysmal 2-11 from the field and 0-5 from beyond the arc. We can really chalk this one up to an anomaly I suppose. Shooters go cold sometimes. Wednesday night was a classic example of that.
Josh Smith: A
Any time you have more blocks than the entire opposing team, you know you’re doing something right. Smith finished with a staggering, and momentum shifting, five blocks for the evening. Where as Orlando only finished with three as a team. He finished with 16 points on 6-14 shooting, hauled in 11 boards and tossed out 3 assists. A solid outing for Smith, namely on the defensive end.
Al Horford: B+
Horford is shooting a career low from his signature 10-15 feet this season. His baseline jumper, for whatever reason, is almost non-existent. That said, Horford would have had an A in my book, had he not botched so many open looks. He finished the night 13 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and a pair of steals.
Lou Williams: C+
Williams finished with 11 points, 2 assists and two steals in just under 34 minutes. He only took nine shots. So it’s nice to see he’s capable of logging heavy minutes while playing within the flow of the offense and without forcing anything.
Kyle Korver: B
With his new daughter, Kyra, watching, Korver put on a stellar performance. He shot 3-5 from three after missing the five previous games with back spasm. He looked healthy and logged 20 plus minutes. Nothing else really matters.
Zaza Pachulia: B+
He also had nine rebounds in 18 minutes.
Plays of the Game
Player of the Game
The Hawks host division rival Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday (12/13) at 7:30 PM (ET).