Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 86, Magic 80 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

It was supposed to be easy. The Hawks made it look that way – at least for 45 minutes.

The Hawks used fast starts in the first and third quarters but had to hold on to defeat the Magic 86-80 Wednesday night at the Amway Center.

The Hawks (13-6) defeated the Magic for the eighth consecutive game, including both meetings this season. It was also the Hawks’ 10th win in 12 games, concluding a 2-1 road trip.

The Hawks built a 19-point third-quarter lead but had to withstand a Magic rally in the final three minutes of the game. Keeping big leads has been an issue for the Hawks this season and the problem reared its ugly head again.

“For our team, we are going to have to learn to develop a killer instinct when we get a team down,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “Right now, we don’t have it. We bobble too many balls. We miss too many fast-break opportunities. We have too many defensive breakdowns when we get leads. We allow teams to get back into games. It’s something that we are going to have to develop.”

The duo of Al Horford and Josh Smith led the Hawks again. Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Horford added 13 points and 13 rebounds, his seventh consecutive double-double. The Hawks also got double-digit scoring from Jeff Teague (16), Lou Williams (11) and Devin Harris (10).

“You can really see them starting to gel,” Drew said. “They’ve played together over the years but what I’m seeing from them is something that is special. They both are really learning to play off each other. When you have a guy with the versatility as Josh and Al is a guy who has similar versatility. They seem to read each other well and it’s getting better every game we play.”

The Magic (8-13) lost their fourth straight home game, something they haven’t done since Dec. 2007. Aaron Afflalo led the Magic with 16 points, including three 3-pointers.

The Hawks built a 19-point lead in the third quarter, 57-38, by going on an 11-2 run and cruised from until the Magic put together their late run. Drew said he never felt comfortable, even with the large lead.

“We were just a little out of rhythm,” Horford said. “You have to give them credit. They never went away. That’s the type of team they have over there. I’m just happy that we were able to hold the lead.”

The Hawks got off to a fast start scoring the first 10 points of the game. The Magic missed their first six shots and had a turnover before finally scoring with 7:19 remaining in the first quarter. The Hawks led by as many as 14 points, 16-2, as they made 8 of their first 11 shots.

The Magic stormed back with a 13-2 run in the opening period. They took a brief lead in the second quarter when a J.J. Redick jumper made it 27-26 with 6:35 remaining in the second quarter. It was the Magic’s only lead of the game. The Hawks scored the next six points and closed with a 20-7 run and took a 46-34 lead into intermission. The Hawks shot 47.5 percent (19 for 40) compared to just 34.1 percent (14 of 41) for the Magic. Smith led the Hawks with 10 first-half points.

“(We were) able to get off to good start,” Smith said. “We didn’t want this crowd to get into the game and we didn’t want to give them confidence early. We came out and were able to push the extremely well, look for open people. We started off the right way but we have to make a conscious effort of not letting teams back in the basketball game when we have large leads.”

The Hawks also got nine points from Kyle Korver, who played 23 minutes after missing five games with back spasms. Zaza Pachulia had seven points and nine rebounds. Ivan Johnson did not play for the second straight game. When asked about Johnson’s status, Drew said the forward “will certainly be rested” when it comes time to play the Bobcats.

The Hawks play their third game in four days when they host the Bobcats Thursday.

- Chris Vivlamore

LATEST NEWS

* Morrow to start vs. Magic, Pachulia warned for flop

* Smith on Smith: Steve says ‘travesty’ Josh never All-Star

* Video: Hawks look to sustain winning ways

* Korver, Scott rejoin team

* Heat 101, Hawks 92

* First place on the line vs. Heat

* Josh Smith named Player of the Week

* 3-pointers may be key to defeating Heat

* Hawks 93, Grizzlies 83

* Harris not settling for jumpers

* Hawks 104, Wizards 95

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @AJCHAWKS

148 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

December 12th, 2012
9:22 pm

Al 41 minutes, Ivan 0 minutes.

Slimjr

December 12th, 2012
9:25 pm

Just win Baby!

Slimjr

December 12th, 2012
9:27 pm

Shot Blocker/ Rim protector should apply

Slimjr

December 12th, 2012
9:28 pm

Why cant these Hawks just bury these teams?

Najeh Davenpoop

December 12th, 2012
9:38 pm

Golden State is tied with the Heat in the 4th quarter. Mark Jackson has that team playing some ball. Hawks get a rematch with them in a few days. Teague better bring his A game because Steph Curry has been lighting it up.

BobDawg

December 12th, 2012
9:40 pm

I’m really pleased with the Hawks this year… I was expecting about .500 ball at the best and aren’t we also in Re-building mode like the Magic???? DF has done a great job with blending the pieces on an unselfish team and we still have a ton of money to spend in future years… Love the quick hands and speed of this team….

Melvin

December 12th, 2012
9:43 pm

This was easily a game LD could have played Ivan and Jenkins. I swear this guy rotations are mind blogging (to say it nicely)

Melvin

December 12th, 2012
9:51 pm

GS takes a 2pt lead over the Heat with .9 on the clock…LOL

Bernie Matt

December 12th, 2012
9:51 pm

16 points 11 boards and 5 blocks(10 points taken from this opposing team). But Al lead! No disrespect to Al but this Viva guy don’t know $hit. AJC, you can do better!

Jae Evolution

December 12th, 2012
9:54 pm

Wow, Warriors beat the Heat at home.

Bernie Matt

December 12th, 2012
9:55 pm

He must be like Jay Bilas, mad cause Josh don’t speak to him or even know who he is.

Melvin

December 12th, 2012
9:56 pm

Warriors are on a 5 road game winning streak…. Wow, gotta keep an eye on them. They did beat the Hawks.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 12th, 2012
9:57 pm

With a win over Charlotte tomorrow, the Hawks and Heat will be tied on top of the Southeast Division.

WTF

December 12th, 2012
10:00 pm

Be nice if you could read the article that is blocked by all the ads. This site is loaded with script and ads. Last time I come here.

vava74

December 12th, 2012
10:03 pm

Great win on typical let down game for the “old hawks”… There is no way on hell that we would have won this one in the past …

About Ivan, I am afraid that he will deservedly punch LD in the face and be off the league forever…

High-sider

December 12th, 2012
10:04 pm

Warriors put a freeze on the Heat, 97 – 95.

[This] GSW [team] has wins against the Clippers, Hawks, Nets [2] and Heat.

Don’t sleep on Mark Jackson as possible COY [Coach of the Year].

keith

December 12th, 2012
10:08 pm

Right now, Marquis Teague in Chicago, is playing with more confidence, more tenacity, and more passion, than Jeff Teague! Jeff MUST be more assertive going forward!

keith

December 12th, 2012
10:12 pm

We need our PG to attack the basket ferociously!!! That is not in Teagues’ DNA. Maybe he will learn from The Great Devin Harris before it’s too late.

High-sider

December 12th, 2012
10:16 pm

This GS [Road] Warriors [squad] has won five consecutive games away from Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA.

Hawks, you have been forewarned.

http://www.nba.com/warriors/schedule/2012

Chris Vivlamore

December 12th, 2012
10:20 pm

As you can see at the end of the game story, I did ask Drew about the status of Ivan Johnson, who has not played the past two games. He said that Johnson “will certainly be rested” when it comes time to play the Bobcats on Thursday.

Slimjr

December 12th, 2012
10:20 pm

Some will say that Marquis is a better basketball player than Jeff.

Mark Jackson was a great New York Knick guard! He was a great basketball analyst! After being passed over many times for several years, its great to see he is doing phenomenally well in his 1st head coaching stint in the beautiful Golden State of Cali!

No question hes the leading vote getter for COY! They are 5-0 on the road! That’s crazy…

Slimjr

December 12th, 2012
10:21 pm

Is Ivan 38 or 28? What are you talking about Mr. Drew?

Slimjr

December 12th, 2012
10:24 pm

Ugly win, they hung on barely but won…Whew…

Slimjr

December 12th, 2012
10:27 pm

Dallas tied with the Men in Green 92-92 with 2:28 left in the 4th! Down 14 they have taken over in the 4th..OJ Mayo was a nice pickup for Dallas..

keith

December 12th, 2012
10:33 pm

Right now Lou Williams is the only Hawk I have on any of my Fantasy Teams. However, if the Coach will allow our best player and shooter, Kyle Korver, to get into rhythm, this guy will score 25ppg. I would definitely ad Korver to my fantasy team…

Najeh Davenpoop

December 12th, 2012
10:38 pm

” He said that Johnson “will certainly be rested” when it comes time to play the Bobcats on Thursday.”

Sounds like an unannounced suspension to me. The alternative — that LD just chose not to play him or forgot about him — is worse.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 12th, 2012
10:46 pm

Not only did the Hawks win, but they even managed to sell out Philips Arena tonight (for Justin Bieber).

kuhndog

December 12th, 2012
10:50 pm

No Ivan I really think he would have matched up with big baby. I thought we let them in it,this game should not have been close. We kind of got goofy with the ball late, trying to get out of there.Josh and Al have a bond a with out saying type of game. Like Josh said last year BANG BROTHERS, Morrow could hit a 3 for nothin, with a back to back we are gonna need the bench tomorrow night.

kuhndog

December 12th, 2012
10:51 pm

Don't Bring Woody-Lite Back!

December 12th, 2012
10:56 pm

DF, Please fre Larry Drew right now and let one of the assistance finish coaching the remainder of this season. Under NO, that is No Circumstances should this guybe brought back as Hawks Coach next year. Another DNP-CD for Ivan. I guess Ivan is in The Teague Dog House(Woddy and Now Woddy-Lite)like Jeff was before Kurt got hurt last year. That is the only way Jeff got a chance to play durning the final few games and playoff last season. But the Bloggers on here had called for Woody to play Jeff Teague over Old Man Bibby when Woody was the coach. I was hoping Mark Jackson had replaced Woody but GM Sund moved Larry Drew(Woddie-Lite) into the HC Job. Not Playing one of your players who bring ATTITUDE(Ivan Johnson) the last two games is a Mystery to Fans who want to see this team WIN! Now he is starting Harris, who brings nothing to the team with Jeff makes me want to stop watching LD trying to coach. Football Number wearing #92 is no Defensive Stopper and continue to get playing time over Ivan. He didn’t play tonight and #92 has NO GAME! Keep him on the bench and let Ivan get those minutes. The expiring CONTRACTS we got from the NETS, should not be playing becuz these guys can’t help this team win. DF don’t bring LD back as Coach next year and let ho go on to NY Knicks to coach with his Idol. NY Knick will see what type of Coach Woody is when it comes time for Stoudemire returns as well as the playoff. NO MORE LD! FIRE LD!

Rod from College Park

December 12th, 2012
11:03 pm

“For our team, we are going to have to learn to develop a killer instinct when we get a team down,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “Right now, we don’t have it.

A least he understands that. Maybe he can explain that to Mike Smith.

Smokey

December 12th, 2012
11:08 pm

LD needs to be probed a bit harder on the Ivan question, saying he will be rested is not a sufficient answer to what his status is and why he wasn’t played. Could have followed up with something like “was he not used due to matchups” which would draw him into giving more detail. Gotta dig a little bit harder C-Viv you know we all want to know about this stuff. Smells fishy to me.

doc

December 12th, 2012
11:17 pm

griz trying to lose to the suns tonight.

Rusty

December 12th, 2012
11:18 pm

Vivlamor when are you going to ask the lame duck why the hell isn’t he playing Ivan,doesn’t he realize how stupid this makes him look.

doc

December 12th, 2012
11:24 pm

Rusty

December 12th, 2012
11:30 pm

Keith its so hard to not call you an idiot,I just finished watching the game at 11:20 ,read the blog first hearing you knock JT thought he must have been playing poorly,didn’t see that at all.He played good defense ,shot well & played good.he also played when the hawks had built good leads in the first & third quarters, with Harris & Williams in the back court together I seen the lead disappear.

Rusty

December 12th, 2012
11:39 pm

I loose respect for Ferry as he lets LD get away with just being stupid.

paian

December 12th, 2012
11:43 pm

“keith its so hard to not call you an idiot”

i couldnt agree more lol

Rusty

December 12th, 2012
11:43 pm

If we had a different coach this game would not have been close, will not be able to win big games with him. He says that we have to develope a killer instinct,no we just have to overcome your lousy substitution patterns.

Rusty

December 12th, 2012
11:45 pm

Play Ivan,you idiot.

Sameba

December 12th, 2012
11:50 pm

I do not know how the “killer instinct” is related to building big lead. To build up big leads one does not play starters for 40 minutes a game. Instead, one rotates wisely and gives starters much needed rest…

mike

December 13th, 2012
12:04 am

Chris,

No disrespect to you and your craft, but I would have preferred if you dug a little deeper on that question to LD. LD took an easy out but you could have followed up.

Did you see Stephen A. grilling Kobe on ESPN about Dwight’s free throw shooting? We need that type of grilling of LD about Ivan from you.

The Truth

December 13th, 2012
12:07 am

Good win but not so impress with the Hawks backcourt in this game. Jeff, Devin and Lou had their warts at times as they are not good stewards of the basketball. This sort of explains LD comment:

“We bobble too many balls. We miss too many fast-break opportunities. We have too many defensive breakdowns when we get leads.” – LD

As more film are studied on the Hawks, a key to beating them seem to be pressing the guards and seducing turnovers. LD must clean this up sooner rather than later.

WHEN ARE THEY MOVING ?????

December 13th, 2012
12:07 am

WISH IT WAS SEATTLE WINNING, THIS THUG SPORT IS WORTHLESS HERE AND MUST BE MOVED A.S.A.P. !

jo

December 13th, 2012
3:43 am

Another good road win. At 13-6, I’m not complaining ( but play Ivan!).

vava74

December 13th, 2012
4:16 am

Not sure if anyone posted this, but it’s a good read:

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8724362/the-kobe-question

Smokey

December 13th, 2012
5:40 am

Wow, awesome read thanks vava74!

hope

December 13th, 2012
6:19 am

jeff this is your team take charge, josh and al continue to play hard every night, ivan stay focused good things will come to you LD this a long season these guys will wear down playing 40 minutes a night

terrell

December 13th, 2012
8:01 am

I like this team better than ANY of the Joe Johnson led squads. A lot more “energy” without the two energyless ones.(Joe and Marv)

terrell

December 13th, 2012
8:11 am

Korver our best player? Keith, please get off your parents computer.