Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic renew Southeast rivalry


The Atlanta Hawks will gun for a third consecutive victory Friday night when they host the Orlando Magic at Philips Arena in a Southeast Division clash.

Friday's game is not a huge clash in the division considering the Hawks lead the Magic by 27 games, but Orlando has improved of late. The Magic have won three of their last four, but Atlanta has been better.


The Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks in Brew City on Sunday, then came home and knocked off the Dallas Mavericks, 104-87, on Wednesday.

The Hawks used balanced scoring and a pair of second-half runs to get past the short-handed Mavericks. Atlanta stumbled early, falling behind 34-22 after the first quarter, but outscored the Mavs by 29 the rest of the way.

Atlanta opened the third quarter on a 19-4 run, putting behind them a forgettable first half and taking control of the game. The Hawks opened the fourth quarter on a 12-0 spurt to put the game away.


"Our defense was better," said Al Horford. "After the second, the first quarter was terrible, but the second quarter was better ... we missed a lot of easy shots, but we found a way."

Dennis Schroder, who scored a career-high 22 points in a win over Dallas earlier in the season, paced Atlanta with 17 points in this one. Kyle Korver made four 3s for 16 points, Paul Millsap tallied 15 with eight rebounds and Horford posted 11 points, eight boards and six assists.

The Mavs were without Chandler Parsons, Tyson Chandler and Rajon Rondo, who was serving a one-game suspension.

The Magic had their three-game winning streak halted Wednesday at home against the Miami Heat. The four-time reigning Eastern Conference champs prevailed in overtime, 93-90.

Miami closed regulation on a 10-2 run to erase an eight-point deficit with less than a minute remaining. Henry Walker sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a free throw from Orlando's Victor Oladipo, the last one a deep left wing triple with 2.1 seconds on the clock to send the game to overtime.


With the Heat leading 89-88, Dwyane Wade missed a straightaway 3 with 28 seconds to go in overtime, but Nikola Vucevic was stripped in the paint at the other end and Wade made two foul shots for a 91-88 Miami cushion with 16.6 seconds left.

Vucevic's spinning left-handed layup again whittled the deficit to a point before Goran Dragic sunk two bonus shots to extend the margin to 93-90 with 7.7 seconds on the clock.

Oladipo's 3 at the horn was off the mark.

"We just have to do a better job of closing out games," Orlando guard Willie Green said.

Vucevic posted 26 points and eight boards, Oladipo provided 13 points and 13 rebounds and Tobias Harris added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Magic.

The teams have split two meetings this season with the home team prevailing each time. The Hawks are 13-3 in their last 16 regular-season encounters with the Magic and 8-1 as the host.


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