Moore's third-quarter surge carries Magic past Hawks

Stan Awtrey, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- E'Twaun Moore wanted to bring some energy to the court when he got a chance to play in the third quarter Tuesday. He wound up being the game-changer.
The guard's nine-point, third-quarter binge helped the Magic overcome a 12-point deficit, and Orlando beat the Atlanta Hawks 109-92 Tuesday.
The Magic broke an 11-game, head-to-head losing streak against their Eastern Conference rival.
Moore, a second-year player from Purdue, finished with 12 points. However, it was his first seven, which came after Atlanta held a 57-49 lead in the third quarter, that changed the momentum of the game. Moore hit a floating jumper, a layup and a runner that became a three-point play, getting the Magic back in the game.
Orlando went on to outscore Atlanta 36-20 in the third quarter, shooting 62.5 percent in the period.
"I try to bring energy, an extra boost, every time I got out there," Moore said. "I try to affect the game. Tonight I did a good job doing it, and we came away with a win."
Moore matched his season high with five field goals and added a season-best five assists. He also had two steals.
"Ultimately we didn't respond the way we needed to respond," Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. "We were out of sync. We didn't play our best basketball. Our group effort is always very good. Tonight it could've been better. We just didn't respond."
Guard Arron Afflalo led the Magic (5-9) with 26 points, breaking his two-game streak of sub-20-point efforts. Guard Victor Oladipo and forward Andrew Nicholson each scored 18, and center Nikola Vucevic tallied 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.
Atlanta (8-7) lost back-to-back games for the first time under Budenholzer. Tuesday's game ended with the Hawks' biggest losing margin of the season.
The Hawks' top scorers were center Al Horford and guard Jeff Teague with 15 points each.
Atlanta jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but Orlando quickly caught up and took an 11-10 lead. The rest of the entertaining period included five lead changes, and Orlando was ahead 26-25 at the horn.
The Hawks used some accurate outside shooting to take a 51-43 lead. An 11-2 run was sparked by a pair of 17-foot jumpers from Horford and two driving baskets by guard Shelvin Mack. The Hawks had a 53-49 advantage at halftime.
Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said the team's commitment to play better defense in the second half was the difference.
"Defensively we were really aggressive to the basketball," Vaughn said. "We were locating shooters and we were in the right place. It was fun to see."
Afflalo agreed.
"We got some fast-break layups and made some shots, but defense was the key," he said. "It got us into a more free-flowing game, which helped us out."
Orlando outscored Atlanta 60-39 in the second half. The Magic shot 58.1 percent after the break, compared to 32.4 percent for Atlanta. On the night, Orlando made 50.6 percent of its shots to 41.1 percent for Atlanta.
"We had some careless turnovers, and I think that impacted the game in the third quarter," Horford said. "After that, you have to give them credit -- they made shots. A lot of them were tough shots, but they made them. They made a run, and we really couldn't recover after that."
NOTES: Atlanta G Kyle Korver extended his streak of consecutive games with a 3-point basket to 88 when he knocked down a shot from the top of the circle with 4:05 left in the second quarter. Orlando G Jameer Nelson, who was not in the game at the time, had done a good job denying Korver the ball. Korver could tie the NBA record of 89 straight held by Dana Barros on Wednesday against the Rockets in Houston, and he potentially could break the record Friday at home against the Dallas Mavericks. ... Orlando de-activated F Solomon Harris, who recently missed 12 games with a high ankle sprain. Harris experienced recurring pain after scoring six points in Sunday's game against the Phoenix Suns. He was replaced on the roster by F Kyle O'Quinn, who has a sprained right ankle and did not dress. O'Quinn is listed as day-to-day. ... Over their previous three games, the Hawks averaged more than 100 points and allowed only 89.3. ... Orlando hosts the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

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