Magic End Losing Streak With Rout of Hawks


Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy has been asking for a better effort and more energy from his players and on Saturday, he got that. The Magic came out of the gate with great energy and ran the Atlanta Hawks off of the court, building a 38-point lead midway through the third quarter. Orlando had seven players score in double figures led by Matt Barnes’ game-high 18 points.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy was very pleased with his team’s performance.

"“That’s about as happy as I’ve been with a regular season win in a long time. It just seemed like, I don’t know, it seemed like a month or month and a half since we won a game.”"

The Magic came out of the gate with more energy than they have over the past few games. Orlando established Dwight Howard early. They did a good job of getting the ball to him and it paid off. He scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. He also had two assists, two blocks and two turnovers. The Magic shot 63.2% in the quarter and were a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Marvin Williams hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 29-21.

The Magic had an incredible second quarter. They were 17-of-26 from the field, 3-of-7 from downtown and allowed the Hawks to shoot just 4-of-18 in the quarter. Jason Williams entered the game at the start of the second quarter and was fantastic. He scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including two three-pointers and had two assists,. He led Orlando’s nearly all white lineup of Marcin Gortat, Ryan Anderson, J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus that did most of the second quarter damage. Orlando’s bench gave them 18 second quarter points and the Magic finished the quarter with a Matt Barnes layup that gave them a 66-37 lead.

The Magic increased their lead to 38 and finished the quarter with a 32-point lead. The Magic let up a little but still managed to outscore the Hawks 25-22 in the third quarter. The Magic kept their energy up in the fourth quarter and came away with a 113-81 victory.

Stan Van Gundy commented that all nine Magic players who played in Saturday’s night win over the Atlanta Hawks played well.

Orlando’s bench was excellent. Mickael Pietrus, Ryan Anderson, Marcin Gortat and Jason Williams accounted for 46 points on 17-of-36 shooting (including five three-pointers), 23 rebounds, five steals and fours blocks (all by Gortat).

Jason Williams put on a show in the second quarter. He played all 12 minutes and scored 14 points, hit two three-pointers and dished out two assists. He was a real spark in Orlando’s dominating second quarter and had the highlight of the night when he hit Matt Barnes with a vintage White Chocolate behind-the-back pass.

Magic Forward Ryan Anderson scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, made two three-pointers and grabbed five rebounds after receiving two consecutive DNPs. I got a chance to speak with Anderson one-on-one after the game and you can read that tomorrow.

Hawks Forward Josh Smith commented on Orlando’s great team effort.

"“They won every quarter so it is kind of hard when guys like Jason Williams, Matt Barnes, who are capable scorers but had a stellar night tonight. It’s hard to beat Orlando when you have Dwight who is going to give you solid numbers every night, Rashard Lewis who is going to chip in with his points. It is kind of hard to beat them.”"

J.J. Redick replaced injured starter Vince Carter and had an excellent game. Redick scored 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Redick also knocked down three three-pointers and grabbed four rebounds. Redick’s confidence has grown by leaps and bounds since his first season. Van Gundy said that Redick is “someone we’ve come to trust,” and said that he uses Redick as an example to some of the younger players because after Redick’s first season, he asked for a trade and thought he would never play.

"“J.J. was like “I’m not playing right now, I’m never going to play here” the whole thing. They think things never change, but he keeps working and getting better.”"

The most impressive numbers in Saturday night’s game for Redick cannot be found in Orlando’s box score but in Atlanta’s. Joe Johnson, who Redick had the job of covering, was held seven points on 2-of-9 shooting. VanGundy thinks sRedick’s hard work and dedication is paying off.

"“You keep working at it like he does, and his focus and you keep learning every day and I think what happens is, he’s still not the quickest most athletic guy but as experience comes, he’s ahead of the play so he can keep up defensively.”"

Redick’s experience is what has given him the edge on his opponents.

"“It’s the value of experience, especially for a smart, tough guy who works at it every day.”"


Redick wasn’t the only Magic defender who had a big game. The Hawks entered the game as the second most efficient offense in the entire league, but Orlando’s defense held the Hawks to an effective field goal percentage of 42.3%, 81 points and forced 16 turnovers. No Hawks player scored more than 14 points.

Orlando, on the other hand shot very well. They had an effective field goal percentage of 59.7% and made 12 three-pointers. They also limited the turnovers, giving the ball away just 12 times.

Van Gundy credited Orlando’s hot shooting to their high energy level.

"“I think when you’re energy is better you tend to get better shots and when you get better shots you tend to make more of them. Tonight, we were up and down the floor, the ball was moving, it was just a lot better night, I think it just goes hand and hand.”"

A day after being outrebounded 55-41 by the Washington Wizards, the Magic dominated the glass against the Hawks, 45-35. Marcin Gortat led the way with 12 rebounds.

Game Notes:

  • Orlando blocked 8 Atlanta shots.
  • The Magic ran the Hawks out of the building with 22 fast break points to Atlanta’s eight.
  • Orlando’s 32-point win was their largest margin of victory on the season.
  • Exactly one year ago, Orlando defeated Atlanta 121-87 at Amway.
  • Orlando had 44 points in the paint to Atlanta’s 30.

Next Up: The Magic start a four-game west coast road trip on Tuesday in Sacramento against the Kings.

Final Thought: Nothing to complain about in this one. That was an excellent performance.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)