Hawks can’t stop streak­ing Magic

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - SPORTS -

AT­LANTA — All-Star cen­ter Nikola Vuce­vic scored 19 points and grabbed 12 re­bounds to lead the Or­lando Magic to a 124-108 vic­tory over the At­lanta Hawks on Sun­day night.

De­spite get­ting into At­lanta around 2:40 a.m. af­ter a 20-point vic­tory at East-lead­ing Mil­wau­kee the pre­vi­ous night, Or­lando looked like the fresher team by far while post­ing its third straight vic­tory, match­ing its best run of the sea­son.

The Magic be­gan to pull away late in the first half, rip­ping off an 11-2 run that sent the road team to the locker room with a 63-48 half­time lead — its big­gest of the game to that point. D.J. Au­gustin fin­ished off the spurt, rac­ing the length of the court af­ter a cou­ple of At­lanta free throws to lay one in with 1.2 sec­onds left.

At­lanta rookie Trae Young hit a des­per­a­tion shot from just in­side the half­court line, but he clearly re­leased the ball af­ter the buzzer. The of­fi­cials gave the re­play a quick look be­fore rul­ing no bas­ket.

That pretty much epit­o­mized the night for the Hawks, who took a third straight loss at State Farm Arena.

Or­lando kept up the on­slaught af­ter half­time, scor­ing 12 of the first 14 points and push­ing its lead as high as 26 points in the third quar­ter. The Magic led 98-74 at the end of the pe­riod, send­ing plenty of fans to the ex­its.

Vuce­vic, who will be mak­ing his first All-Star Game ap­pear­ance next week­end, led seven Or­lando play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures. Evan Fournier and Jonathan Isaac each had 17 points, and Au­gustin had 10 as­sists to go with 14 points. Isaac also had five blocks — three in one At­lanta pos­ses­sion.

Alex Len led the Hawks with 16 points, de­spite pick­ing up four fouls in the first half.

Eight Or­lando play­ers con­nected from be­yond the 3-point arc, led by Isaac’s 3-of-7 per­for­mance.

At­lanta’s start­ing front­court had a rough night. John Collins led the way with 15 points on 5-of-12 shoot­ing, while Tau­rean Prince was held to eight points and De­wayne Ded­mon man­aged only five.

At­lanta was out­re­bounded 49-33.

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