- Orlando handed Atlanta the second worst playoff loss in franchise history, 114-71, at Amway Arena on Tuesday.
- A two point Magic lead after one quarter (25-23) ballooned to 20 at halftime (53-33) after outscoring the Hawks 28-10 in the second period...The 10 points tied the franchise postseason low for the second quarter.
- Orlando continued to pour it on in the third, outscoring Atlanta 32-11 for an 85-44 lead going into the final frame...The 11 points is tied for the second-lowest scoring third quarter in franchise playoff history.
- Josh Smith paced the Hawks with 14 points and Joe Johnson had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists...Zaza Pachulia added 12 points and 7 rebounds.
- Dwight Howard tallied 21 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks to lead the Magic...Vince Carter scored 20 and Jameer Nelson added 19.
- The teams meet up in Game 2 on Thursday at 8pm at Amway Arena (ESPN, 790 The Zone).
Following each 2010 Hawks playoff game, SLAM Magazine's Lang Whitaker will chime in will his immediate reactions:
Ever since the Hawks clinched a spot in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, there's been a lot of talk about what the Hawks should do against Dwight Howard. Should they double him? Foul him? Let him go one-on-one and try to stop the other guys? Tonight, the Hawks didn't do any of those things, or at least they didn't do any of them very well, and the Hawks lost 114-71. Dwight Howard went for 21 and 12; meanwhile, two other Magic players had at least 19 points, and the Magic shot a lot of wide-open jumpers from the perimeter.
As for the Hawks, they couldn't catch a break. Mike Bibby scored 2 points. Al Horford had 4. Joe Johnson tied for the team lead in rebounds with 7. I know the Hawks were tired, and I know the Magic were incredibly well-rested, but there's no way to sugarcoat it: Tonight's loss was brutal. If you're looking for a positive, it's that the Hawks were in the game after one quarter, down two heading into the second quarter. In the second and third quarters, Orlando outscored Atlanta 60-21 to make it a laugher.
While watching the loss was about as comfortable as having my toenails ripped off, the Hawks have to figure out some way to bounce back. Put it behind them, forget about it, move in. The Hawks can compete with the Magic. The Hawks can beat the Magic. Show some fight, Hawks.
And I can't imagine the Hawks want to dwell on this game. I definitely don't.