The Orlando Magic avoided elimination Tuesday with their 101-76 win against the Atlanta Hawks. Orlando has forced the series back to Atlanta, where the Magic have yet to win this season (0-4 during regular season and postseason combined).
After shooting playoff record-low 8.7 percent (2-for-23) from three-point range in Game 4, Orlando rebounded to shoot 42.3 percent (11-for-26) from long distance in Game 5.
Orlando won despite a quiet game from Dwight Howard, who tied a playoff career-low by attempting just four shots. He finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds after recording a 20-15 game in each of the first four games of this series. He sat out all but one minute of the fourth quarter.
Trend Reversal, Hawks-Magic Series
The Magic overcame the slow night from Howard due in large part to the strong performance from their bench. After totaling 69 points in the first four games of the series, the Magic bench combined for 49 points in Game 5.
Meanwhile, the Hawks did not get a typical performance from their star bench player, Jamal Crawford (8 points). Crawford had scored at least 20 points off the bench in each of the first four games of the series.
Odds against the Magic still remain long, however. In NBA playoff history, just eight teams have come back from a 3-1 series deficit to win. The Magic franchise has never done it and the Hawks franchise has never allowed it.
In other Eastern Conference action on Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls enjoyed their first playoff series win since 2007 by closing out the Indiana Pacers. It’s just Chicago’s second playoff series win since the 1998 NBA Finals.
Derrick Rose's sprained left ankle didn't seem to hamper him. After shooting 6-for-22 from the field in the Bulls' Game 4 loss, he found his stroke in Game 5, scoring 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
In the first four games of the series, Rose shot just 29.7 percent from the field when being guarded by Paul George, but shot 66.7 percent from the field against him in Game 5. During the Bulls' decisive 21-8 run over the last 5:52 of the third quarter Tuesday, nine of Rose's 10 points came against George, all from three-point range.
Rose wasn't the only one feeling it from downtown. The Bulls set a franchise playoff record by making 14 three-pointers (previous high: 13), 11 of which came in the second half. The Bulls led at halftime for the first time in the series and never trailed, though at one point the Pacers closed within four points.
In an odd occurrence, noted three-point specialist Kyle Korver dunked in the game. A pretty rare sight -- he had one dunk the entire regular season.
The Pacers have not won a playoff series since 2005.