There was no drama tonight. The Hawks handed a beatdown to the home team and fans in Amway Arena, 108-76.
The Magic were without Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Hedo Turkoglu but I doubt that would have made much difference tonight. Anthony Tolliver was again in the starting lineup presumably to provide length to defend Moe Harkless.
Hawks settled for jump shots early and started 1-10, but that would be the last of their struggles. From that point on, the Hawk outgunned an offensively challenged Orlando team and bludgeoned them on the glass. Atlanta fired up 34 three pointers, the most they have shot this season, and only made 10, but it didn’t make a difference.
The quickness of the Magic guards, Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo, hurt the Hawks early but Orlando eventually succumbed to the superiority of Al Horford and Josh Smith.
It was clear to see that the Hawks would win the rebounding advantage. Atlanta had 8 offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone and held a 19-11 lead in that category over that span. They finished with 17 offensive rebounds en route to a 54-41 overall margin.
It took Kyle Korver until the middle of the fourth quarter, but he was finally able to extend his streak to 45 straight games with a three pointer. Anthony Morrow also saw time on the court after receiving 5 straight DNP-CDs and made a field goal for the first time since December. John Jenkins made an appearance and even saw time at the point guard position.
The Hawks played stiff defense on the Magic, holding the Magic to 41.5% shooting and 21.4% from beyond the arc. Clearly there was a talent advantage for the Hawks. They were quicker, bigger and stronger and they executed their sets better. Orlando looked ready to hit the beach or nightclub for a week. As a result, the Hawks enter the break 29-22 and the Magic 15-37.
1. Al Horford: Al Horford knocked down 18 footers like he was in an open gym. He also led the effort on the glass with 12 rebounds.
2. Josh Smith: Josh Smith has found his long range stroke and I honestly have no idea what has triggered his hot shooting. He finished with 30 points on 13-20 shooting. He also chipped in 10 rebounds and 5 assists.
3. Jeff Teague: The Hawks’ Big three has been making a lot of appearances here in recent days. Horford and Smoove had such phenomenal games that it was hard for any other player to crack the final Game Ball. Teague was able to lead an uptempo Hawks offense with 11 assists, and helped the team assist on 32 out of 41 made field goals.