THE FACTS: It took a while for the Hawks to get their legs, but once they did, they had little trouble taking off and taking care of the Orlando Magic.
Al Horford had a game-high 15 points and Lou Williams came off the bench to add 14 more, as the Hawks overcame a sluggish start and a season-low 38.2 percent shooting to beat the Magic, 81-72, Monday night at Philips Arena.
The win was the Hawks' seventh straight in regular-season play over the Magic and their fifth straight at Philips Arena.
The game was tight for the first two and a half quarters, with Atlanta leading, 23-21, after a first quarter that saw four ties and 10 lead changes, and by four at the half. But in the third quarter, the Hawks broke things open, as Horford scored five straight points to open a seven-point lead. They then they went on an 11-5 run over a 3:37 span to open up a 14-point lead. The lead would grow to 24 early in the fourth, as Atlanta went on a 9-2 run, with six of those points coming from Williams.
Glen Davis led Orlando with 11 points and Nikola Vucevic had a solid effort on the boards, pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds. The Magic shot only 2-for-10 from three, as J.J.Redick and Jameer Nelson were both under the weather, and they shot only 37.8 percent for the game. They made a run in the fourth, cutting the lead in half, with 2:42 left, and even getting it under double-digits with 1:35 left. But Horford's lay-up with 68 seconds left pushed the lead back up to 11 and Atlanta was never in danger again.
QUOTABLE: "24 points off 19 turnovers did us in tonight. It was simply a lack of execution. Basketball is not a complicated game until you make it complicated. We just need to make the easy play." -- Magic coach Jacque Vaughn.
THE STAT: 24: Atlanta created 19 turnovers and took advantage, scoring 24 points off them. Of those 24, 17 came off 12 first-half turnovers. On the other hand, the Magic forced 15 Atlanta turnovers, but managed only 13 points off them. In the first half, Orlando scored five points off five Atlanta giveaways.
TURNING POINT: To start the third quarter, Atlanta started to do some work in the paint and got separation. The Hawks' first 11 points of the quarter came from inside, with Horford scoring five straight and Josh Smith adding four. Atlanta outscored Orlando 16-6 in the paint in the quarter. They'd only have a 30-28 edge over the other three. In the frame the Hawks shot 52.4 percent to put the game away.
QUOTABLE II: "We had a hard time getting our legs together. In the second half we did a better job of competing. We have the rest of the week to kind of settle back into ourselves." -- Hawks guard Lou Williams on Atlanta's victory despite a slow start.
HOT: Williams had 14 points and picked up where he left off on the road. He was 6-for-12, and 2-for-2 from the line. Over his last three games he's scored 17.7 ppg on 47.1 percent shooting in 27.3 minutes. He's also averaging 4.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds and has a 7:1 assist-to-turnover ratio (14 assists to two turnovers).
NOT: Orlando went ice cold in the third quarter, shooting 27.5 percent (6-for-22) and going 0-for-4 from three. The third quarter won't be on either team's highlight reel, as for a stretch of nearly four minutes, beginning at 6:03, following a three from Atlanta forward Kyle Korver, to 2:19, when Orlando's Andrew Nicholson hit an 18-footer, neither team scored, combining to go 0-for-10, with four turnovers -- Orlando was 0-for-6 with two turnovers, while Atlanta went 0-for-4 with two turnovers.
NOTABLE: Celebrities in the crowd included former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield... Orlando saw all 13 players on its roster score and had a slight edge in bench points, 40-36...Atlanta forward Ivan Johnson grabbed a season-high eight rebounds, matching his previous season-high of four in the second quarter alone...Johnson doesn't shoot a lot but is proving pretty accurate when he does. He shot 4-for-8 Monday and has now shot at least 50 percent in all seven games in which he's taken a shot...Zaza Pachulia had his second double-digit rebounding game of the season for the Hawks, grabbing 11 boards...Orlando's Nikola Vucevic tied his season-high grabbing 13 rebounds of his own...Hawks rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott each made their home debuts, with Jenkins grabbing one rebound and Scott two...The 37.8 percent shooting and 72 points were both Hawks' opponents' season lows.
UP NEXT: For the Magic, Wednesday vs. Detroit, Friday vs. Cleveland, Sunday vs. Boston. For the Hawks, Wednesday vs. Washington, Friday @ Charlotte, Saturday vs. Los Angeles Clippers.