Magic 101, Hawks 96
McGrady led all scorers with 28 points, but it was the 6-foot Lue who came up big in the final 1:42. He had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter and finished in double figures for the fifth consecutive game.
“That’s a luxury to have, when guys are not afraid to take those big shots,” McGrady said. “We know they’re going to load up on me. Ty was fortunate to knock down a couple for us.”
Said Magic coach Johnny Davis: “I think the biggest thing with him (Lue) is he’s healthy again. He struggled for weeks with his health and I just think he feels a lot better physically now than he did previously.”
Lue made two free throws to put Orlando ahead 99-96 with 11.6 seconds to play. After an Atlanta timeout, the Hawks’ Jason Terry missed a layup and Orlando’s Sean Rooks grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He hit both free throws for the final margin.
While Orlando’s record is 18-46, Lue says the team still has pride. Orlando has defeated Atlanta in all three meetings this season.
“We think we’re better than what our record shows,” Lue said. “We’re just going to keep competing and playing hard every night.”
Atlanta took a 96-95 lead on a basket by Jackson with 1:00 remaining but the lead didn’t last long with Lue scoring the next four points.
“Tonight, Tyronn got a good look because everyone was focused on Tracy,” Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said. “All three times the game’s been close but it seems like they end up making the last big play.”
The Magic found a spark in Gooden, ho hit consecutive 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to put Orlando ahead until the 1:56 mark when Terry converted a three-point play to put the Hawks ahead, 92-91.
Gooden came into the game having hit 5-of-18 3-pointers all season.
Atlanta chipped away at an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to tie it at 71 heading into the fourth.
Orlando finished the first half on a 7-0 run to lead 53-45. The Magic shot 52.3 percent and were led by McGrady’s 14. Jackson had 14 for the Hawks, whowere hurt by 13 first-half turnovers.
Atlanta’s Travis Hansen (stress reaction, right foot) did not dress and teammate Zeljko Rebraca (low back injury) did not travel with the team. … Orlando (18-46) has 3-0 records this season against Atlanta and Washington. … The Magic have defeated the Hawks eight consecutive times in Orlando. … The Magic shot 51.9 percent from the field, the first game since Feb. 8 that theywent above 50 percent.