Hawks 108, Magic 76By Tim Povtak, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Wed, Feb 13, 2013 9:30 PM EST
ORLANDO -- Josh Smith scored 30 points and Al Horford added 26 to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 108-76 victory over the hapless Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. Smith and Horford combined for 22 rebounds and played only the first three periods, watching their teammates coast to another easy victory against the Magic. The Hawks (29-22) have beaten the Magic (15-37) in nine consecutive regular-season games. It was the last game before the All-Star break for both teams. The Magic were led by Jameer Nelson and Andrew Nicholson, who each had 10 points. The game was never competitive in the second half. The Hawks outscored the Magic 32-17 in the second quarter and 33-20 in the third. The fourth quarter was played with all reserves in the game. The Hawks, who were coming off a victory in Dallas two nights before, dominated around the basket with a 54-41 rebounding edge. For the Magic, it was their third home loss this season by 30 points or more. By late in the third quarter, Smith and Horford together were outscoring the entire Magic team, 52-47. The Hawks led by as many as 25 points in the first half, and the Magic were offering little resistance. Horford and Smith combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds before intermission. The Hawks held a 30-18 rebounding edge in the first two quarters. The Magic actually led by five points early in the first quarter, but the Hawks quickly grabbed control. The Magic lost forward Hedo Turkoglu earlier in the day when the NBA suspended him for 20 games for violating the league's drug policy. He tested positive for methenolone, a well-known anabolic steroid. Turkoglu was the second Magic player to be suspended under the league's current drug policy. Rashard Lewis was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2009-10 season for a positive test. Turkoglu, who broke his hand on opening night, has not been a factor this season, playing in only 11 games and averaging 17.2 minutes, 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds. He was shooting just 26 percent from the field. In a news conference before the game, Turkoglu blamed a medication he took over the summer in Turkey, while recovering from a shoulder injury. He also said the NBA drug-tested him in December. He was told of the positive result a week ago. NOTES: First-year Magic coach Jacque Vaughn didn't try to make excuses for Turkoglu's suspension. "As a professional athlete, you have a responsibility to know what you put in your body. At the end of the day, you have to know what it is, whether it's at a rest stop, a vitamin shop, or after a massage. It doesn't matter," Vaughn said. Vaughn also denied that there is a problem with performance enhancing drugs in the NBA. "I can speak as a former player, and I'd say no (it's not a problem). No, I don't think it's a problem in the NBA.". ... Hawks coach Larry Drew said before the game that all the trade talk and trade rumors surrounding Smith have not affected his team. The Hawks have been talking with several teams about a potential deal for Smith, who will become a free agent this summer. "It's always a topic, but it has not been a distraction. It's just 'that time of year,'" Drew said. ... In the nine consecutive regular-season losses to the Hawks, the Magic have never scored more than 87 points. "We zeroed in on the things they like to do," Drew said. ... Hawks guard Jeff Teague, who is averaging 14.3 points, has been on a roll, scoring at least 20 points in each of the previous four games. He finished with seven points and 11 assists Wednesday.
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