Magic Vs. Hawks, Game 1: Atlanta Wins, 103-93, Despite Massive Game From Dwight Howard

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Magic Vs. Hawks Score: Joe Johnson Leads Atlanta To Game One Victory Over Orlando

Joe Johnson scored 25 points to lead five different Hawks in double figures, helping Atlanta to a 103-93 victory over the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series.

Jamal Crawford chipped in 23 points off the bench, while Al Horford had 16 for Atlanta. The Hawks scored 68 points over the course of the second and third quarters, outscoring the Magic by 16 points over that span and opening up a lead they maintained through much of the second half.

For Orlando, Dwight Howard was dominant inside, with 46 points and 19 rebounds. But scored 31 of those 46 points in the first half, while Orlando got little from anyone else other than Jameer Nelson. Nelson scored 26 of his 27 points in the second half — 20 in the third quarter — but no other Magic player chipped in six points on the night.

Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Brandon Bass combined to shoot just four-for-21 from the field.

Atlanta had a huge advantage in the turnover battle, scoring 20 points off of 18 Orlando miscues while committing just eight in the game.

Game 2 in this series will be Tuesday night in Orlando.

For more on this game, Hawks fans should check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta, while Orlando Magic fans should visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.


Magic Vs. Hawks Score: Joe Johnson Pushes Atlanta To 85-71 Lead After Three

Joe Johnson has 23 points, leading the way for the Atlanta Hawks, who take a 85-71 lead into the fourth quarter against the Orlando Magic. The Hawks have withstood an onslaught from Dwight Howard, who has 34 points, as the Magic big man was frustrated in the third quarter, picking up a technical foul and missing several free throws.

Jameer Nelson did his best to keep the Magic in the game, setting a new Magic playoff record for points in a quarter with 20 points in the third period. Nelson has 21 points, but nobody else has more than six points for Orlando.

Atlanta, on the other hand, has used a balanced attack. Besides Johnson's 23 points, Al Horford has 16 points and Jamal Crawford has 14. Kirk Hinrich has 13 points and his defense against the Orlando pick and roll has been key to the Hawks' big lead.

The Hawks are shooting a sizzling 58% from the field through three quarters, and are getting a solid mixture of inside and outside looks.

For more on this game, Hawks fans should check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta, while Orlando Magic fans should visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.


Magic Vs. Hawks Score: Dwight Howard Dominant With 31 Points But Orlando Trails Atlanta At The Half

Dwight Howard has never looked better, scoring 31 points in the first half. However, his Orlando Magic trail the Atlanta Hawks, 55-48, at halftime.

For the most part, Atlanta has single-covered Howard with Jason Collins and Zaza Pachulia; both players struggled, picking up two fouls in the first quarter. Then Etan Thomas took his turn, with Josh Powell finishing the task in the second.

While Howard has gotten his, Atlanta has done a good job of holding the rest of the Magic players in check. Gilbert Arenas scored six points and no other Magic player has more than four.

The Hawks have also gotten it done offensively, shooting a crisp 55% in the first half. Joe Johnson leads the way for Atlanta with 13 points while Al Horford has 12. Kirk Hinrich and Jamal Crawford each scored 11 points for Atlanta.

Due to having the lead, Atlanta was able to keep Jason Collins and Zaza Pachulia each on the bench throughout the second quarter thus giving them four personals each in the second half to use when dealing with Howard. It will be interesting to see if Howard wears down as the game goes or if he can keep up this torrid pace.

For more on this game, Hawks fans should check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta, while Orlando Magic fans should visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.


Magic Vs. Hawks Score: Dwight Howard Carries Orlando To 19-17 Lead After One

Dwight Howard had his best Wilt Chamberlain impersonation going on early, scoring the first 12 points for the Magic before his teammates got things going towards the end of the first quarter. Orlando leads the Atlanta Hawks by a score of 19-17 after one quarter of play due in large part to Howard's heroics. Atlanta Hawks centers Jason Collins and Zaza Pachulia have already picked up two fouls apiece while guarding Howard.

Atlanta has used a balanced attack offensively led by Joe Johnson's five first quarter points. Al Horford and Kirk Hinrich have four points apiece for the Hawks. Josh Smith has gotten off to a slow start, scoring just two points and committing two turnovers for Atlanta.

In addition to Howard's 12 points, Hedo Turkoglu found a rhythm late in the quarter and has four heading into the second period. Neither team is shooting the ball particularly well while Orlando's six turnovers have helped keep the Hawks close. 

For more on this game, Hawks fans should check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta. Orlando Magic fans should visit Orlando Pinstriped Post


Magic Vs. Hawks, Game 1: Jason Collins Steps In To Attempt To Squelch Dwight Howard

That Jason Collins is the most important player in the Atlanta Hawks' first round challenge against the Orlando Magic tells you all you need to know about this series: it's either going to be a little bit of genius, or it's just going to devolve into laughter. The teams begin their 2011 NBA Playoffs journey in Orlando on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN), with two separate skirmishes on their minds.

The first is last year's second round series between the teams. The Magic won 4-0, by a combined 101 points, or an average of 25 points per game. In Game 1 of that series, the Hawks lost by 43. Dwight Howard had 21 points and 12 rebounds in just 28 minutes. Atlanta hardly challenge Orlando in the next three games, and Howard continue his rampage. It was the most embarrassing beating in a series in recent history; it was like the Boston Celtics' Game 6 victory over the L.A. Lakers in 2008, four times in a row.

Mike Woodson, a good coach, lost his job over the series. The Hawks' front office was so shellshocked it convinced itself Jason Collins -- that Jason Collins -- was the antidote for Dwight. Is he? Collins is a defensive specialist, and his post defense can be special, but he's a real minus on offense, and offensive minuses get shredded alive by Howard's own special defense. Is the burdening weight of Collins' bad scoring ability worth his defense?

The Hawks, with Collins, won three of four games against the Magic this season. Howard scored over 20 just once (Orlando's only win), and that was the first meeting between the pair. In the three subsequent games, Collins and Atlanta's other big men held Howard to 15-38 shooting, 39 percent. Dwight Howard, shooting 39 percent. Is he solved?

If so, Jason Collins will be the NBA's new hero, and Howard its laughingstock. That wouldn't be fair; they say defense wins championships, after all, so Howard's own superlative defense -- unneeded against Collins but magical constantly -- should be lauded. But in Dwight's quest to be the league's new most dominant big man, a derail by Collins would be mighty embarrassing.

Will Collins succeed? Tune in to find out at 7 p.m.

Be sure to check out our full Magic vs. Hawks preview. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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