ORLANDO, FL—The Atlanta Hawks went into Orlando on Wednesday night and flat out dominated the slumping Magic 108-76.
The game was fairly close to begin with, as Atlanta only led by six after the first quarter. Though, in the second, the Hawks would take control by outscoring the Magic 32-17 in the period. The Magic never recovered and the game got out of hand quickly.
Atlanta’s big men really controlled this game from start to finish. Hawks forward Josh Smith had a monster game with 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. It was Smith’s 22nd double-double of his career.
Atlanta’s other “big” Al Horford was also able to impose his will, as he added 26 points and 12 rebounds of his own.
The Hawks led by as many as 38 in this game, as it was never even close after the first quarter. Atlanta has now won nine-consecutive regular-season games against Orlando.
This continues an abysmal stretch for the Magic as they have lost 24 of their last 27. The two leading scorers for Orlando (Nelson, Nicholson) only had 10 points each. None of their other players reached double figures.
Atlanta’s Kyle Korver has now gone 45-consecutive games with a three-pointer, which is the longest among active players.
Orlando was playing without Glen Davis (broken foot) and Hedo Turkoglu, who was suspended 20 games by the league on Wednesday for steroid use.
Heading into the trade deadline, it will be interesting to see whether or not Josh Smith has played his last game in a Hawks jersey. He has garnered interest from both Brooklyn and San Antonio, and after the recent tear he’s been on, it wouldn’t be surprising if more suitors came knocking.
Though, at this point, it’s all speculation. Who knows? The Hawks could elect to hold onto J-Smoove for the second half of the season for a playoff push.
With Wednesday night’s win the Hawks head into the All-Star break with a record of 29-22. They return to action on Feb. 20 against the defending champion Miami Heat at Phillips Arena.
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Written by Darryl L. Jones