Magic 104, Hawks 99
ATLANTA (AP)—For one night, at least, the Orlando Magic proved they aren’t a one-man team.
“You’ve got to attack more when your star is not playing,” Stevenson said. “Juwan Howard did a good job when McGrady was out.”
McGrady, the leading scorer in the NBA at 27.6 points per game, landed awkwardly on the foot of defender Stephen Jackson after missing a jumper late in the third and immediately began favoring his foot.
On the other end, McGrady grabbed Bob Sura’s jersey for a foul to stop the clock, then left the game.
“It’s always a plus when he leaves the game,” Sura said. “But he did a good job getting his teammates involved when he was in the game, and that gets their confidence going, so when he left, they picked up where they left off.”
McGrady came back about three minutes into the fourth quarter but was in obvious pain and went only 1-for-3 from the field after returning. He declined to talk about the injury after the game, and all indications were that he wouldn’t miss any time.
“I put up the numbers and try to get the win,” McGrady said. “That’s motivation enough for me. That’s my job.”
“I’m happy for me, but we still came up short,” Crawford said. “That’s the main thing for us. They made the plays at the end of the game.”
Atlanta got to 91-88 on a tip-in by Joel Przybilla with 1:23 left, but he missed a free throw that would have completed a three-point play. On the other end, McGrady scored his only basket after his injury, a layup after a tough drive, and Orlando hung on from there.
In the first half, McGrady scored 23 of the Magic’s first 39 points, and most of his shots came without much defensive pressure. But his teammates responded when he left with his injury.
“He’s going to take over the game early,” Lue said. “He knows he’s going to get his points. Without him, we came out jumping.”
Crawford hit a jumper early in the fourth to cut it to 77-74 before Gooden and Lue keyed a 9-2 run that boosted Orlando’s lead to 10.
After a 3-pointer by Jackson cut it to 88-86, Lue hit his fourth 3 of the game. He added four free throws down the stretch to seal it.
The Hawks, who dressed only nine players, again gave a spirited effort in front of the home fans. They had a modest two-game winning streak at Philips Arena snapped, but several players had solid games.
Terry finished one assist and one rebound short of his second career triple-double, and Sura added 14 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Przybilla had a season-high 15 rebounds, and Jackson, Crawford and Terry each played 45 minutes.
“I hate playing three guys 45 minutes, but I thought they were playing well and they played hard,” Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said. “The guys out there were doing everything they could.”
But it wasn’t enough, even with McGrady ailing down the stretch.
“That’s a team we can beat, with whoever we got on our team,” Terry said. “We play them again next week, and we’re going down knowing what we have todo.”
Actor Chris Tucker sat courtside with former Hawks player Dominique Wilkins, part of Atlanta’s sixth sellout crowd of the season. Many came to see McGrady and a postgame concert by gospel band Jars of Clay. … Before the game, the Hawks signed reserve center Mamadou N’diaye to a second 10-daycontract. … McGrady also scored 30 points in the previous meeting.