Ivan Johnson led the short-handed Atlanta Hawks past division rival Orlando Magic 97-88 on Saturday, sweeping the four-game season series.
Johnson powered the Hawks with a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds, while shooting 7-of-14 from the field. He also added three steals, one assist and one block in 34 minutes off the bench.
Johnson’s huge game couldn’t have come at a better time as the Hawks needed someone in the front court to step up because both centers, Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia, missed the game with injuries. Horford missed his second straight game with a stomach illness, while it was reported earlier Saturday that Pachulia will need season-ending surgery to repair a sore Achilles.
Josh Smith matched Johnson’s scoring output with 21 points and chipped in with nine boards, three blocks, two assists and two steals in a team-high 40 minutes of action.
Devin Harris scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to help the Hawks seal the home victory. He shot five-of-nine overall, including two-of-three from the behind the arc, to go with six helpers and four caroms.
Shelvin Mack, Anthony Tolliver and Kyle Korver each scored eight points. Korver hit a 3-pointer in the contest, extending his streak to 67 straight games.
Atlanta jumped out to a 7-2 run to start the game, but Orlando went on a huge run and led 19-11 at the 4:31 mark of the opening quarter. The Magic ended the period leading 27-23.
The second quarter was much tighter as both teams traded buckets throughout, but it was the Hawks who were up at halftime 45-44 after J-Smoove’s buzzer beating putback.
Beno Udrih’s mid-range jumper at the 3:48 mark in the third period tied the score at 55.
Then Atlanta pulled away.
They ended the third leading by seven points and cruised in the fourth, as Anthony Tolliver’s dunk with 26 seconds left in regulation sealed the Hawks’ victory.
Orlando got within three points early in the fourth quarter as Andrew Nicholson’s driving layup cut the deficit to 67-64, but Atlanta scored the next six points and never looked back.
Udrih filled-in for injured point guard Jameer Nelson and paced the Magic with 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Maurice Harkless poured in 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and filled the stat sheet with four boards, three steals, two assists and one block.
Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris each added double-doubles. Vucevic had 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Harris finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Atlanta has beaten Orlando 10 straight times and now holds sole possession of fifth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of Chicago.
The Magic (19-55) head to Houston to play the Rockets (40-33) on Monday, April 1, at 8:00 PM (ET).
The Hawks (41-33) host the Cavaliers (22-49) on Monday, April 1, at 7:30 PM (ET).