Magic thrash Hawks

ORLANDO 101, ATLANTA 76

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ORLANDO, Fla. --- The Orlando Magic aren't ready for their season to end just yet.

Orlando's Jason Richardson goes in for a lay up past Atlanta's Kirk Hinrich (left) and Jason Collins. Richardson scored 17 points to help keep the Magic alive in the first-round series.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Orlando's Jason Richardson goes in for a lay up past Atlanta's Kirk Hinrich (left) and Jason Collins. Richardson scored 17 points to help keep the Magic alive in the first-round series.

Facing their first opening round postseason exit since 2007, the Magic blew out the Atlanta Hawks 101-76 on Tuesday night.

Jason Richardson scored 17 points, and J.J. Redick added 14 off the bench to lead the Magic.

The win trims Atlanta's series' lead to 3-2 and keeps alive the Magic's hopes of becoming the ninth team in NBA history to win a playoff series after trailing 3-1. If they can win Game 6 on Thursday in Atlanta, they would play host to a decisive Game 7 on Saturday.

Magic center Dwight Howard battled foul trouble throughout the night and had only one field goal, finishing with eight points and eight rebounds. Orlando didn't need his offense, though, as it broke out of a series-long shooting funk with 11 3-pointers.

"We're a good shooting team," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "This is more of us than what we showed in the first four games. ... This isn't an aberration. We've been doing this for four years. The first four games were the aberration."

Josh Smith scored 22 points to lead Atlanta, which shot below 40 percent.

The Magic cruised in the second half, allowing Howard to log his first extended rest of the series in the fourth quarter.

In a short turnaround after his team's loss in Game 4, Van Gundy preached patience over panic to his team. It paid off in a big way as Orlando was unselfish in its half court sets and passed the ball to free up its shooters. That allowed the Magic to push the pace and keep the game up tempo. The Hawks have won every game with the Magic this season in which it kept them under 90 points.

For the second game in a row the Magic's bench got some production led by Redick. It also got 11 points from Ryan Anderson and nine from Gilbert Arenas, who had erupted for 20 in Game 4.

The Hawks shot a series-low 36 percent overall and 25 percent from beyond the arc.

The Magic finished at just 41 percent, but hit 42 percent of their attempts from 3.

"The law of averages is eventually going to even out," Redick said. "We didn't shoot amazing tonight, but we shot very well."

But more importantly they held Atlanta sixth-man Jamal Crawford, who came in averaging a team-best 24 points, to only eight on 2 of 8 shooting.


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