(SL) – It was a shootout at Philips Arena as the Orlando Magic came in with hopes of continuing to build on their last stretch of goodness and the first half was indicative of what this team is becoming. At the half, Orlando had set 2 halftime records with 72 points and 21 assists and it was agreed that Atlanta had given them way too much room to do damage in the 1st 2 qtrs. With Serge Ibaka leading the way for the Magic with 17 points, it was hard to contain their explosive offense which saw them shooting 59 percent from the floor in the first half. (72-62)
But just as quickly as the 3rd qtr began, the Atlanta Hawks would be back in it, running up the board and before you knew it, it was 79-77 with the Hawks leading the way. Considering Dwight Howard had a double double 17pts and 11 rebounds and went 8-9 in the first half, one could only hope that he would continue to dominate and along with Dennis Schroder make a way for the Hawks to come back. But after a decent 3rd period, Orlando jumped back out on the Hawks and with less than 5 mins left on the clock they led 118-111.
The most points this season Atlanta has allowed is 128 and with 3 mins left it looked as if they were about to let Orlando surpass that. Orlando had 15 threes (a season high) so it wasn’t a surprised when they hit 130 on the board (another season best). And at this point the Hawks would succumb to another loss (131-120) but it wasn’t without a fight though, despite the score, Paul Millsap had ( ) while Dennis Schroder and Dwight Howard would both contribute double doubles with 19 pts and 13 assists for Dennis and D. Howard had 20 pts and 16 rebounds. Thabo Sefolosha, Kyle Korver (who also had 4 threes) and Tim Hardaway Jr were all in double digits scoring 17, 12 and 12 respectively.
But the Magic led by Serge Ibaka with 29 and Elfrid Payton and Jodie Meeks coming off the bench putting up 26 and 20 off the bench. Hard to beat that.