Postgame Quotes - Hawks vs. Magic - March 24, 2010

ATLANTA HAWKS POST-GAME QUOTES

HEAD COACH MIKE WOODSON
"That was a great game, playoff game. We got down early, the bench got us back in the game, and then we fought the rest of the way. It was a hell of a game."

"They made plays. We kind of started looking over our shoulder a little bit when we had an eight to nine point lead. Then they used the free throw line to their advantage by driving the ball, and we made a couple turnovers coming down that stretch. We were trying to do the right thing, we just didn't get it done. Amazing, Vince Carter seems to do it to us every time. Vince hit a big three with somebody hanging on him. I didn't have any more timeouts. But Joe did the right thing by trying to take it to the bucket, and there was Smoove making an amazing play."

(On the key to coming back from an early deficit): "Our defense. Our bench came in and got us back in it. It was just a dog fight the rest of the way. No one wanted to give. I thought we had made the push early to middle part of the fourth quarter. We had like a 10-point lead, and I felt pretty good at that point. But we knew they would make a run, and they did. And we were able to overcome the run, and Smoove makes the play at the end."

JOSH SMITH
(On the final shot): "I knew it was close, but I had to celebrate a little bit, because this is a long time coming for us to knock off Orlando. They've had our number for a year or two now."

(Did you know you'd have a clear lane to get the tip): "No. I didn't know. I just crashed it, and luckily the ball was right there for me to tip in. I know that Joe's a good shooter, and it wasn't going to come off too far. I was just able to be around the rim."

(On the meaning of this win): "I think so (it's important). We know that we can play with any elite team. I think only one team has swept us the whole entire season, and that was Oklahoma City. I think we can play with anybody if we play the full 48 minutes like we did tonight."

AL HORFORD
(On slowing down Howard): "We just really played aggressive on him. He really tries to post hard, and Zaza, Josh at times, everybody had a piece of him and had to guard him. So we did a great job."

(On the last nine seconds): "(The plan was for) Joe to go and get a shot, because we didn't have any timeouts left. He was either going to shoot it or pass it. He actually came right to my side, so it was just perfect for Josh to come in and put it back in."

(On all the close games recently): "We would most certainly like to put teams away for good. And that's something we have to learn from, because the playoffs are coming up fast on us. We have to be able to maintain leads."


ORLANDO MAGIC POST-GAME QUOTES

HEAD COACH STAN VAN GUNDY
"This was a tough finish. I thought our guys did a good job getting us back in the game. The Hawks outplayed us for a good portion of the game. Our rebounding and defense kept us in the game. Vince hit a great shot to tie the game up, and then he played great defense on Joe (Johnson) on the other end. Unfortunately we forgot to box out on the weak side, and Josh (Smith) was able to make a great play. We became spectators and didn't block out, and this is the second loss we've had like this this season."

"On a night where the Hawks defense was good, so was ours. But we just didn't make the plays down the stretch to get in front of them. They got up on us, and stayed up during the second half, and that made it tough. We knew they were going to be ready to play tonight. They win 80% of their games at home, and it was very evident that they came prepared to play tonight."

JAMEER NELSON
"This was a tough loss for us. It's definitely not one person's fault. Vince hit a big shot to get us tied up, but Josh got open and was able to make a big play at the end and get a big win for his team. Dwight (Howard) went to help on the other side, so that gave Josh space. The Hawks were obviously motivated to get a win tonight. We've beaten them all year, so I'm sure they wanted to win tonight. That's a good team in the other locker room, so you have to give them credit for coming out and being ready to play tonight. They're one of the toughest teams to beat at home."

VINCE CARTER
"I was glad I was able to make that shot to tie the game up. We had to come from a big deficit to even get the game to that point. On the other end, I was so busy guarding Joe, that I didn't see Josh get open. We were so busy trying to force Joe one way, it somehow freed up another player. It happened to be Josh, and he made a great play. We went up on them early in the first half, but they made a great comeback and held us off for most of the game. You have to give them credit for coming to play. Because they're such a talented team it's hard to come from behind and beat them at home."