Jamal Crawford, Hawks Finish Off Magic In Game 6, Advance To Face Bulls

Jamal Crawford sank two key free throws to give the Hawks a 4-2 series victory over the Magic. Atlanta will tip off against the Bulls on Monday, while the Magic will face a summer of questions about what went wrong.

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Dwight Howard Dominant, But Magic Can't Overcome Awful Shooting In Loss To Hawks

Dwight Howard picked up his performance in Game 6 of the Orlando Magic's NBA Playoffs series against the Atlanta Hawks, but it wasn't enough to save his team as the Magic fell 84-81 and were eliminated in the first round. Howard had 25 points on 8-14 shooting, 15 rebounds, three blocks and shot a solid 9-12 from the free throw line. But continuing a series-long trend, the Magic shot just 5-19 on three-pointers.

For the series, the Magic shot 37-141 from long-range, just 26.2 percent. It was a departure from Orlando's regular season performance, where the Magic finished No. 10 in three-point shooting at 36.6 percent. The Hawks have a strong three-point defense, but its success in this series was simply wild.

Howard ended up averaging 27 points, 15.5 rebounds and almost two blocks a game in the series. He had six turnovers in Game 6, and that was a problem the Hawks -- and Jason Collins in particular -- caused all series long, as Howard averaged 5.5 giveaways per game.

Howard is scheduled to be a free agent in 2012. There has been significant speculation as to his future. Stay tuned to SBNation.com and Orlando Pinstriped Post to follow the Magic's offseason as it progresses.

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Magic Vs. Hawks Final Score: Atlanta Eliminates Orlando With 84-81 Victory

Despite a superhuman effort by Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic were unable to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, coming up short in an 84-81 loss. Howard finished the night with 25 points, 15 rebounds (five offensive) and three blocks, but he also had six of his team's 13 turnovers.

The Hawks came up big in the final 30 or so seconds of the game. After Jameer Nelson made a layup to make it a one-point lead, Marvin Williams missed a three for the Falcons with eight seconds left on the clock.  Joe Johnson came up with the offensive rebound and got the ball to Jamal Crawford, who was fouled by Gilbert Arenas. Crawford made both field goals to increase the lead to three. Orlando's J.J. Redick missed a three and Jason Richardson's three as time expired was blocked by Josh Smith.

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 23 points and 10 rebounds (seven offensive), and he was joined in the double-double category by Al Horford's 10 points and 12 rebounds. Crawford and Williams added 19 points and 10 points, respectively.

The Hawks won the series, 4-2, and will now face the Chicago Bulls in the second round.

Be sure to check out or 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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Magic Vs. Hawks, Game 6: Can Jamal Crawford, Atlanta Finish Off Orlando?

The Orlando Magic found a lifejacket in the form of excellent three-point shooting (that ol' friend) in Game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks, keeping Dwight Howard and company alive for at least another day. (Two, actually.) The Magic hit 11 three-pointers in Tuesday's Game 5 after shooting 21 percent in the first four games of the series. Orlando more frequently than not shoots well from distance, and while Atlanta defends the line well, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Magic shoot well again in Thursday's Game 6 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV).

But there's a reason the Hawks took a 3-1 lead in the first place, and have a 3-2 lead with a chance to clinch at home, and that's because one of Atlanta's guards has been excellent as Orlando's have struggled. Jamal Crawford has been the biggest factor for ATL, averaging more than 20 points per game off the bench with a True Shooting percentage of .583. Joe Johnson is having a rough series, and Kirk Hinrich is Kirk Hinrich. But Crawford was phenomenal until Game 5, and Josh Smith and Al Horford have been all the help he's needed on offense.

For the Magic, being able to dominate with Howard in addition to hitting those three-pointers will be important. Howard had just eight points in the Game 5 win after thrashing the Hawks early in the series. If Orlando wins, it won't matter what Dwight did; survival is the only everything. But Orlando typically does much better when Howard dominates, so the hand belongs in the glove.

Be sure to check out or 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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