Hawks 95, Magic 87
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—The Atlanta Hawks made sure they didn’t drop another game to Orlando.
Bob Sura scored 32 points to help the Hawks overcame a 21-point deficit in a 95-87 victory Friday night, Orlando’s first in four games against the Magic this season.
“We didn’t want to get swept by the Magic and we didn’t want to end up with the worst record in the league, so this was a big game for us,” said Chris Crawford, who added 18 points.
“We didn’t play real well in the first half, but we were real physical with them in the second half. We showed the kind of pride and effort we’ve been giving these last 20 games.”
Stephen Jackson had 21 points for the Hawks, down 56-35 late in the first half.
Juwan Howard had 33 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic, who have lost 10 straight to drop to an NBA-worst 19-58.
“I can’t believe this. I just can’t believe it,” Howard said. “It’s embarrassing. It feels like we’re playing not to lose instead of trying to win.”
Orlando coach Johnny Davis is 18-48 since taking over for Doc Rivers early in the season.
“We gave this game away,” Davis said. “This is just a build up of what’s been happening to us most of the season. We get in a game where we should win and we’re afraid to close it.”
Orlando played without Tracy McGrady, the NBA’s leading scorer who is on the injured list because of a sore knee.
Howard scored 20 of his points in the first half to help the Magic take a 56-37 lead.
Sura and Jackson combined for three straight 3-pointers in the third quarter to start the rally, and Atlanta tied it at 87 on Jason Terry’s basket with 1:57 left in the game.
Jackson’s two free throws with 1:11 left gave Atlanta the lead, and the Hawks put it away with 8-for-8 shooting from the free-throw line in the finalminute.
Magic center Andrew DeClercq outrebounded the Hawks 15-13 in the first half. DeClercq finished with 15 rebounds. … In the first quarter, Atlanta shot only 25 percent, had only one assist and didn’t have an offensive rebound. … Magic PG Tyronn Lue needed three stitches in his right arm to close a cutafter diving into the seats. Lue returned to the game.