NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Orlando
(Thursday, February 10th)
Final Score: Orlando 101, Atlanta 96
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Steve Francis scored a team-high 28 points, Hedo Turkoglu added 24 off the bench and Orlando held off Atlanta, 101-96, at TD WaterHouse Centre.
Francis shot just 8-of-23 from the floor, but added nine assists with seven boards, while Grant Hill contributed 16 points for Orlando, which snapped a three-game slide. Dwight Howard had an outstanding game for the Magic, netting 15 points with a game-high 20 rebounds.
"It came down to defense," said Howard. "Well tonight, I just tried to get after it. Get the rebounds, stay close to my guy, and I'm fortunate that I got 20 rebounds."
Antoine Walker and Tony Delk each scored 25 points, while Josh Childress collected 19 points with 10 boards for the Hawks, who have dropped 11 of 14 overall and fell for the 13th straight time in foreign buildings.
"I thought Atlanta played a real "gutty" game tonight for being short handed, they really played hard, never gave up during the game," said Orlando head coach Johnny Davis.
Orlando wasted little time racing out to a comfortable 15-point lead en route to a 31-15 advantage after one quarter of play, but Atlanta clawed its way back into the contest in the second. The Hawks fought back and pulled within 39-33 on Delk's two free throws, capping an 18-8 flurry with around seven minutes remaining in the first half.
"In the NBA it's rare that you get a big lead and hold it the entire game," added Davis. "The other team usually makes some sort of run at you at some point. What you have to do is respond to that run and I thought we did that."
However, Atlanta's momentum was short-lived as Turkoglu scored 12 straight points as Orlando's margin grew to 51-35 with under four minutes left in the half. The home team then headed into the locker room with a 56-44 edge.
Turkoglu paced all players with 20 points -- all in the second quarter -- for the Magic, while Walker netted nine points to lead the Hawks at the break.
The Magic attempted to pull away in the third thanks to a 14-6 spurt to begin the stanza. Francis' trey from the corner ended the run, pushing the lead to 70-50 at the 7:58 mark of the quarter.
Atlanta, though, came roaring back courtesy of a 22-8 burst to close the frame, trimming the deficit to 78-72 after 36 minutes of action.
The Hawks continued to chip away at the lead late, getting within 97-94 on Walker's three-pointer with 38 seconds to go. But Francis' jumper at the other end made it 99-94 with 17 seconds remaining, sealing the contest.
"I'm definitely happy with the result, but I think we've improved in some areas that we've practice over the last couple of days," said Francis.
Prior to the game, Orlando placed center Andrew DeClercq on the injured list with a sore right knee, while activating forward Brandon Hunter from the injured list...The Magic improved to 17-6 at home this season...Atlanta has lost 17 of its 18 road games...Howard became the first rookie since Tim Duncan back in 1997-98 to grab 20 or more rebounds in two games in the same season...The Hawks played without guard Tyronn Lue and center Predrag Drobnjak. Lue was nursing a strained left Achilles, while Drobnjak was out due to a sprained left ankle...Orlando ended 34-of-39 from the line, while the Hawks went 18-of-26.
02/10 22:44:17 ET