With each quarter of excellence, it looks less like a fluke: the Hawks team that the Magic dominated in the 2010 playoffs is better than the Magic team the Hawks are beating in the 2011 playoffs. And after the first quarter of Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series, Atlanta's up 25-17.
The Hawks shot 58% as a team for the quarter, making 11 of 19 field goals, and neutralized Orlando's most reliable player: Dwight Howard had three turnovers and two fouls in the first quarter, and made zero field goals. If that's an indication of things to come, it's a good bet that Atlanta's going to have a 3-1 series lead at the end of the night.
The Hawks also got balanced scoring in the first period, with Al Horford, Joe Johnson, Kirk Hinrich, and Jamal Crawford all contributing at least four points each. The Magic had less luck: Brandon Bass led Orlando in scoring for the quarter with seven points.