ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 26: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic dunks over Zaza Pachulia #27 of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2011 at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Hawks Vs. Magic, Game 5: Dwight Howard, Orlando Extend Season With 101-76 Pounding

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Hawks Vs. Magic Final Score: Orlando Forces Game 6 In Atlanta

With their backs against the wall, the Orlando Magic pulled off the first dominant win of their playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, winning 101-76. Game 6 is scheduled for Thursday night in Philips Arena, with Atlanta leading the series 3-2.

Dwight Howard was able to take some much-needed time off, playing only 29 minutes after being on the floor for almost the entire series thus far. He scored just eight points, but was able to grab eight rebounds and hammer a dunk on Zaza Pachulia, who's not popular in Orlando.

Atlanta led by just one point -- when Josh Smith hit a free throw in the opening minute. Smith finished with a game-high 22 points and combined with Al Horford to produce 25 rebounds.

Be sure to check out our Magic vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta

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Orlando Magic Set Up For Game 5 Win As Atlanta Hawks Struggle

Now this looks more familiar: the Orlando Magic are pounding the Atlanta Hawks by 23 points at halftime in a playoff game. Up 58-35, Orlando is in great shape to force a Game 6 in Atlanta.

Jason Richardson and Ryan Anderson have each hit a pair of threes, with Richardson boasting a game-high 12 points. Josh Smith leads Atlanta with 11 points and six boards, but has started taking bad shots. He's taking better shots than his teammates are, of course, but still. Dwight Howard has just six points and three boards in 14 minutes.

The Magic have forced eight turnovers and 34 percent shooting while getting their offense going, a pairing that they've been missing so far during this series.

Be sure to check out our Magic vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.  

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Hawks Vs. Magic Score: Dwight Howard Sits As Orlando Races To Big Lead

Dwight Howard only played six minutes in the opening quarter of Game 5 between the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks, sitting with a pair of fouls. That's almost as many minutes as he's missed in this entire series before tonight, but no matter: thanks to some electric shooting by J.J. Redick, the Magic lead 26-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Redick has 11 points, having connected on all five of his attempts from the floor. The Hawks have hit only three of their 19 field goals -- other than Josh Smith, who has five points and six rebounds, it's not clear any Atlanta players are aware the game has tipped off.

Jameer Nelson is the only player to have played the entire first quarter.

Be sure to check out our Magic vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.    

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Hawks Vs. Magic, Game 5: Can Dwight Howard And Orlando Extend Their Season

The Orlando Magic are down to their final chance to stave off what figures to be a wave of offseason confusion due to of superstar Dwight Howard's murky future. Down 3-1 to a mediocre Hawks team, the Magic, who began the season as championship contenders, must win three straight games to even advance to the second round. They'll get their first chance Tuesday night, as they take on the Hawks in Orlando in Game 5 of their 2011 NBA Playoffs series at 7:30 p.m. on NBATV.

The Magic have been close, but poor shooting has ultimately doomed them. They lost both games in Atlanta by a combined seven points, despite shooting 42 and 39 percent from the field, respectively, and a combined 10-51 from three-point range. Howard is doing his part, averaging 32 points and 17.5 rebounds in the series, but the Hawks have let him be and closed off everyone else nicely. Gilbert Arenas provided a brief spark in Game 4, but it wasn't enough to carry the Magic to victory. Ultimately, someone else needs to step up.

That guy could be Jason Richardson. The Magic's starting shooting guard was suspended for Game 4, along with Hawks' big man Zaza Pachulia. That's not an even trade-off for Orlando, even if Richardson is struggling and Pachulia is a part of the Hawks' group of bigs to try to slow Howard. Having Richardson back may end up being the necessary boost, at least for one game.

As for Atlanta, it needs to continue to get good performances from Al Horford and Joe Johnson, and must hope Jamal Crawford can continue his hot shooting. Getting more from Josh Smith, who committed several errors in the Game 4 win, would help too.

Be sure to check out our Magic vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops andSB Nation Atlanta.    

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