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Magic Dominate Hawks, Take Game 3 105-75


The Atlanta Hawks offered little resistance in Game 3. The Magic dominated the game from the start, earning a 105-75 win to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. Rashard Lewis led the Magic with 22 points while Dwight Howard chipped in 21 points and 16 rebounds. Jamal Crawford led the Hawks with 22 points.


NBA Stats

NBA Stats

The Hawks didn’t look like the team we were supposed to see on Saturday. Coming into Game 3, the Hawks were advertised as a team that was desperate for a win and would be making their last stand back in Atlanta in front in front of the home crowd in Phillips Arena. Instead, the Hawks lacked energy, gave a poor effort and looked like a team that has already given up and packed it in for the season.

Orlando, on the other hand, was ready to go from the start. They came out with great energy, gave a good effort and dominated throughout. The Magic shot an effective field goal percentage of 57.7% compared to Atlanta’s 37.3%. They outrebounded the Hawks 51-34 and got to the free throw line 34 times compared to Atlanta’s 19.

Atlanta’s offense was once again mostly all one-on-one. In the rare occurrences when the Hawks actually moved the ball around, they had some pretty good possessions. However, the isolation was still the play of choice for the Hawks and the man who ran most of those plays, All-Star Joe Johnson, had another poor showing. Johnson scored eight points on 3-of-15 shooting (20.0%) and continued to take and miss low quality jump shots. The Hawks’ assist percentage was just 31.0%. They assisted on just nine of their 29 field goals. The Magic assisted on 21 of their 36 field goals.

If there was anything for the Magic to complain about after a 30-point road win, Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy is the one who can find it. And he did. Van Gundy thought the Hawks grabbed too many offensive rebounds (12) and scored too many second chance points (23).

With Orlando’s incredible depth, any player can step up on any given night. On Saturday, it was Rashard Lewis’ turn. Lewis had the hot hand, especially in the first half. Lewis scored 15 first half point on 5-of-8 shooting and finished the night with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He shot 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, but also showed off both his inside game and his midrange game. Lewis’ effective field goal percentage was 76% and his true shooting percentage was 78%. Lewis is a highly skilled offensive player and he had a large variety of moves on display Saturday night.

Matt Barnes had a very good night in just 24 minutes of play. He scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting, grabbed four rebounds and blocked two shots. He got the Magic off to a great start, scoring seven first quarter points. He continued to show great hustle and he, along with Mickael Pietrus (who had 13 points himself), have done a great job of defending Johnson in this series. That was no different Saturday.

Dwight Howard got into some early foul trouble, but bounced back to score 21 points. He continued his efficient showing in the series by going 6-of-8 from the field, but he took a step back with his free throw shooting. He shot 9-of-18 from the charity stripe after a 13-of-18 showing on Thursday night. Howard’s hook shot continues to develop and he used it very well. He often makes these by making a move he is trying to perfect – his drop-step to the baseline, followed by this driving hook.

While Howard was out of the game, Marcin Gortat filled in very well. When Howard picked up his second foul at the 1:45 mark in the first quarter, Gortat came into the game and had great energy. He grabbed a two offensive rebounds that both resulted in made 3-pointers for the Magic. Gortat finished with two points and six rebounds. Gortat’s dunk came on a powerful slam after he ran the rare 3/5 pick-and-roll with Barnes.

Game Notes:

  • All 10 players who played for the Magic scored.
  • Five players scored in double figures (Lewis 22, Howard 21, Jameer Nelson 14, Pietrus 13, and Barnes 11).
  • Orlando shot 50.7% from the field, which is their lowest shooting percentage of the series.
  • The Magic have now won by an average score of 110.3 – 81.3. That’s a margin of 29 points per game.
  • Orlando’s bench accounted for 30 points.

Next Up: The Magic will look to close out the series on Monday night in Atlanta.

Final Thought: The Magic are matchup nightmare for the Hawks and consistently dominating a 53-win team is extremely impressive.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and at Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).