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Hawks win season-high fourth straight

4/14/2003

ATLANTA (AP) -- If this was Jason Terry's Atlanta farewell, he
went out in style.

Terry scored 23 points and the Hawks extended their winning
streak to a season-high four games by defeating the playoff-bound
Orlando Magic 100-84 Monday night.

Ira Newble also scored 23 points, setting a career high for the
second game in a row.

The Hawks, who will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight
year, played their final game at Philips Arena this season.

Terry is in the last year of his contract. He didn't let the
uncertainty affect his performance, shooting 9-of-11 from the field
with a couple of 3-pointers. He also had seven assists and two
steals.

"I was really into the game,'' said Terry, who was cheered on
his by his mother and brothers. "I prepared for this one like it
would be my last game. I wanted to leave it all on the court.''

Terry wants to return to the Hawks, but the team is poised for a
major shakeup. The franchise is for sale, general manager Pete
Babcock already has been fired and it's not known if coach Terry
Stotts will return, either.

The Hawks have finished strong, winning six of seven as they
head into their final game at New Orleans.

"We moved the ball extremely well and got everybody involved,''
Terry said. "The last couple of weeks have been a great run for
us. The guys have really been focused. It's been fun.''

Tracy McGrady led the Magic with 22 points, even though he
didn't play at all in the final period. The loss ensured that
Orlando will be the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference
playoffs.

"We wanted to win the game,'' McGrady said, "but we wanted to
keep everybody healthy for the playoffs.''

Darrell Armstrong missed all eight of his shots, making him
1-of-16 over the last two games. Drew Gooden, coming back from a
toe injury, was the only other Orlando player in double figures
with 15 points.

"I didn't think we were playing well,'' coach Doc Rivers said.
"When I saw that, I decided to let (McGrady) rest.''

Newble, getting more chances to score with Glenn Robinson out,
was coming off a 21-point game at Washington in which he scored the
winning basket.

This time, the defensive specialist did even better, setting his
career mark on a couple of free throws with 1:51 remaining.

"Obviously, Ira has been playing well,'' Stotts said. "But I
think the whole starting group has really been meshing well. The
ball movement is good and Ira's been penetrating.''

The Hawks pulled away in the final five minutes of the third
quarter.

After Gordon Giricek's basket drew the Magic to 59-55, Atlanta
closed the period with a 13-4 spurt. Terry led the way with a steal
and five points, hitting a 3-pointer that gave the Hawks a 72-59
lead going to the final period.

The Magic never got closer than 11 the rest of the way, snapping
its three-game winning streak.

Dan Dickau hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the
final period after going scoreless over the first three.

Theo Ratliff had six blocks, ensuring that he'll beat out
Detroit's Ben Wallace for the NBA's shot-blocking crown.

Game notes
The 23-year-old McGrady will be the youngest player to
average 30 points a game since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976. ... The
Hawks signed C Mikki Moore for the rest of the season. He initially
signed a 10-day contract with Atlanta on March 24. ... Gooden had
missed the last three games with a sprained right big toe. ...
Terry's two 3-pointers moved him past Dominique Wilkins into sole
possession of second place on the Hawks' career list. Terry has 502
3-pointers in his career but remains far behind the top player on
the list: Mookie Blaylock with 1,050. ... Robinson is out for the
rest of the season because of an inflamed left Achilles. The Hawks
improved to 9-3 when he doesn't play. ... Orlando C Andrew DeClercq
missed a dunk in the first quarter.