Magic Win Third in a Row by Beating Hawks
Orlando 108, Atlanta 101
ORLANDO, Fla, March 26 (Ticker) -- Hedo Turkoglu, Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson continued to help the Orlando Magic wind down the season on a positive note.
Turkoglu scored 23 points and Howard and Nelson added 15 apiece as the Magic posted their third straight victory by topping the Atlanta Hawks, 108-101.
"Who wants to go out and play for a draft pick?" Nelson said. "Nobody wants to play for a draft pick. We didn't get the pick last year. We've got something good going here. We're progressing as a team. How can I say we're going to go out and play to lose?"
"We want to show everyone that this is a playoff-caliber team," said Turkoglu, who hit 8-of-12 shots. "We've got a lot of young guys who are getting a lot of opportunities. That's going to be really good for next year."
The Magic took the lead for good with a 16-2 charge that bridged the halves. Nelson scored six points during the surge, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the second quarter.
"(The run) was huge," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "We didn't finish that quarter, and it gave them that little seven-point spread (49-42). But we had our chances at the end."
Nelson's jumper with 11:12 left in the third quarter gave Orlando a 52-42 advantage.
The Hawks trailed, 77-66, heading into the final period but mounted a rally behind Joe Johnson and Al Harrington.
Atlanta got as close as 89-85 on a 3-pointer by Josh Childress with 6:11 remaining, but Orlando rebuilt a 10-point advantage less than three minutes later and never led by less than six points thereafter.
"We're young and play together, and you see on the court that everybody's happy with each other," Orlando guard DeShawn Stevenson said. "So we've got to go out there and play every game like it's a playoff game and play together like we're doing."
Harrington scored 20 points and Johnson added 19 for the Hawks, who have lost six straight visits at the TD Waterhouse Centre and 11 of 12 on the road overall.
Tonight, the Magic beat us," Harrington said. "We're trying to continue to get better as a team. Right now, it's about team and trying to come together."
"We need some positives to finish up on," said Childress, who scored 18 points. "These last 15 games are going to be big for a lot of the younger guys. Hopefully, it will give them confidence going into the summer and next season."