Atlanta wins series 4-2 (Game 2 of 6)

Atlanta wins series 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, April 16th
Game 2: Tuesday, April 19th
Game 3: Friday, April 22nd
Game 4: Sunday, April 24th
Game 5: Tuesday, April 26th
Game 6: Thursday, April 28th

Hawks 82

(44-38, 20-21 away)

Magic 88

(52-30, 29-12 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    7:30 PM ET, April 19, 2011

    Amway Center, Orlando, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 22 20 12 2882
    ORL 16 32 17 2388

    Top Performers

    Atl: J. Smith 17 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Orl: D. Howard 33 Pts, 19 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Dwight Howard scores 33 points as Magic even series with Hawks

    Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Following Orlando's humbling Game 1 loss to Atlanta, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that if his team cut down its turnovers and played better defense, he felt like everything would be fine in Game 2.

    His team only fulfilled half of that equation Tuesday night, but it was still enough to earn a victory.

    Dwight Howard had 33 points and 19 rebounds, Jameer Nelson added 13 points and eight rebounds to help the Magic hold off the Hawks 88-82.

    The Magic evened the best-of-seven series, with Game 3 Friday night in Atlanta.

    Orlando used a 10-1 run to close the third quarter to take an 11-point lead into the fourth and fought off a late Atlanta charge down the stretch. The Magic struggled from the field shooting just 34 percent and had 16 turnovers. But they defended well.

    After allowing the Hawks to become the first opponent in 16 straight playoff games to score 100 points against it in Game 1, Orlando's defense tightened around Atlanta's shooters in Game 2. The Hawks shot 39 percent.

    "It's not anything I did -- our guys did it," Van Gundy said when asked about the adjustments he made after Game 1. "You gotta get out and take the challenge. ... Every game sort of takes on a life of its own and you just gotta do whatever it takes to get the win on that night."

    The Magic overcame a 10-point first-half deficit en route to the win. It was Orlando's largest comeback victory in the postseason since May 2009, when it overcame a 16-point deficit to beat Cleveland.

    Jamal Crawford led Atlanta with 25 points and Josh Smith added 17, but they missed 15 shots between them and expended a lot more energy to get off attempts.

    The Magic led 65-54 lead going into the fourth quarter.

    Joe Johnson's basket cut the lead to 78-72, and he got another following an Orlando turnover to trim it to four points with 2:43 to play.

    A steal by the Hawks ended with a dunk by Al Horford to pull Atlanta within a basket. But Hedo Turkoglu got a friendly roll on a layup to push it back to four and Jason Richardson drilled a 3-pointer that made it 83-76 with 1:08 remaining.

    Crawford dropped in a layup that made it 84-80, but Orlando was able to hit enough free throws the rest of the way to secure the victory.

    Howard played all 48 minutes in Game 2 and took 19 free throws. He played 45 minutes in Game 1.

    "It's tough," he said. "But you can't think about that while you're on the court. You can't think about any pains. You just have to fight through it. ... As much as I get hit and beat on during the game, I just think about what we're trying to accomplish."

    Atlanta had 15 turnovers Tuesday, as Howard floated as a one-man zone in the paint. It seemed to disrupt the Hawks' offensive flow and helped Howard's teammates close out on Atlanta's jump shooters.

    "That's what great defensive players do," Horford said. "They get out there and it seems like they are everywhere. He does a good job of that."

    Orlando led 48-42 at halftime. The Hawks led by as many as 10 in the second quarter, 32-22, before a 12-2 run by the Magic tied it at 34-all. Howard had 10 points during the spurt, which included the Magic doing their best job of the series converting defensive stops into quick offense.

    Atlanta, which shot 55 percent in the first half of Game 1, saw the figure drop to 38 percent in the opening quarters on Tuesday.

    The Magic also shot 38 percent but converted 16 of 19 free throw attempts. The Hawks had only five trips to the line in the first half and were dominated in the paint, 28-14.

    Horford picked up two quick fouls in the game's first 2 minutes and spent the rest of the half on the bench.

    The Magic exploited his absence initially, taking the ball to the rim for a 10-6 lead. The Hawks closed the first quarter with a 16-6 run, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Crawford.

    Orlando feels like it has great momentum heading into Game 3.

    "Atlanta's a team that if things aren't really going their way, they're going to struggle a little bit," said Ryan Anderson, who led the Magic's reserves with eight points. "We're different in a sense where if we're down we kind of know how to fight our way back into it."

    Game notes

    Van Gundy said one of the biggest reasons Howard's big performances don't always garner national buzz could be the lack of an anticipated matchup. "There's no matchup for him that creates the excitement," Van Gundy said. "If you got back to when the centers were king, you have Chamberlain-Russell and people say 'Wow, that's a matchup you look forward to.' Now people look forward to Chris Paul against Derrick Rose. ... People have played good games against Dwight, but still, where's the anticipated matchup?" ... Howard's 20-point second quarter tied the playoff franchise record for points in a quarter that Nelson set in Game 1. ... Hawks reserve F/C Hilton Armstrong was activated for Game 2 after being inactive in Game 1. C Etan Thomas took his place on the inactive list.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 82 88
    FGM-FGA 32-81 (.395) 27-78 (.346)
    3PM-3PA 7-20 (.350) 5-23 (.217)
    FTM-FTA 11-17 (.647) 29-36 (.806)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-39 20-52
    Assists 15 9
    Turnovers 15 16
    Steals 7 9
    Blocks 7 2
    Fast Break Points 7 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (1/0) 21 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 10 14

    Top Performers

    Josh Smith Smith
    Points: 17
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Dwight Howard Howard
    Points: 33
    Reb: 19
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1

    Research Notes

    On the season, the Magic ranked 16th out of 30 teams in offensive rebound percentage, grabbing 26.1 percent of their missed shots. On Tuesday, the Magic grabbed 43.5 percent, their fourth highest mark of the season. After being down six points after the first quarter, the Magic took a 12-point lead into halftime, due to their ability to create extra opportunities and never trailed thereafter.
    The Hawks shot just 38.3 percent and averaged 0.80 points per play in isolation during the 2010-11 regular season, ranking them 24th out of 30 teams. But, in Game 1 against Orlando, the Hawks were effective on isolation plays, shooting over 60 percent and scoring more points than on any other half-court play type. Atlanta reverted back to its regular season form in Game 2, struggling on these plays.
    In Game 1, Dwight Howard had a superman type performance, scoring a career-high 46 points in a loss. In Game 2, Howard was just as productive, but his supporting cast got more involved.
    Dwight Howard averaged 39.5 points per game and shot 71.4 percent from the field in the first two games of the Magic's first round series against the Hawks. He has been getting it done on post-up plays, an area where Howard struggled in four games against the Hawks during the 2010-11 regular season.
    With 33 points and 19 rebounds in Tuesday's 88-82 Game 2 win over the Hawks, Orlando's Dwight Howard matches Tim Duncan for the most playoff games with at least 30 points and 15 or more rebounds since 2006-07, when Howard made his first playoff appearance, at four apiece. The Magic, however, are only 2-2 in those contests.
    Dwight Howard has been every bit Superman so far this series against Atlanta amassing 79 points and 38 rebounds in two games.
    From Elias: Dwight Howard becomes the 1st player to have at least 33 points and 19 rebounds in the first 2 games of playoff series since Shaquille O'Neal vs Sacramento in 2001.

    ESPN Stats & Information