Five observations from Hawks’ 117-110 overtime loss to Magic


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Five observations from Hawks’ 117-110 overtime loss to Magic

This time, the agony of defeat didn’t come from a last-second shot.

It came from a blown 20-point lead.

The Hawks couldn’t hold the sizeable margin and dropped a 117-110 decision to the Magic Monday night at Philips Arena. The painful defeat came one night after they lost at the buzzer in Orlando.

The Hawks (30-24) were outscored 16-9 in overtime for their second loss in as many days to the Magic. They trailed by as many as six points in the extra period. They got to within two points, 112-110, with 50.3 seconds left but could get no closer.

The Magic (23-28) have won two straight after a stretch of 15 losses in 17 games. The teams end the season series 2-2.

Here are the key players and five observations on the game:

Three key players

Mario Hezonja: The Magic reserve hit a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter and opened overtime with a layup on his way to 14 points.

Nikola Vucevic: A night after hitting the game-winner, the Magic center scored seven points in overtime for a game-high 28 points.

Al Horford: The Hawks center finished with a team-high 27 points.

Five observations

1. Mad Men

The Hawks were clearly an angry group from the jump after Sunday afternoon’s poor performance. The Hawks were 9 of 11 from the field to start the game with eight assists and zero turnovers as they took a double-digit lead. They would lead by as many as 20 points, 28-8, in the opening period. Magic coach Scott Skiles subbed three of his starters four minutes into the game. The Hawks slow start Sunday could be attributed to turnovers – seven in the first quarter, 12 in the first half. A day later, they had only two in each of the first and second quarters. The Hawks cooled off some to shoot 59 percent (13 of 22) after the first quarter. The 20-point lead would not last.

2. Long-range trouble

The Magic missed their first 11 3-pointers and finished the first half just 3 of 16 from long range. Meanwhile, the Hawks were connecting from behind the arc. They were 6 of 14 in the first half. Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore and Jeff Teague went back-to-back-to-back in the first quarter as part of the run to the 20-point advantage.

3. Big Time

On Sunday, Paul Millsap and Al Horford combined to go 10 of 29 from the floor. Skiles knew that would not be the case a day later. “Those guys are really good players,” Skiles said before the game. “What makes (winning back-to-back games against the same opponent) so hard is pro athletes are competitors. A team is going to respond. They are going to respond. Whatever good job we did on them, we’re going to have to do better here.” The duo were 8 of 13 in the first half alone. They were 19 of 32 after regulation.

4. Magic make their run

The Hawks took an 18-point lead, 71-54, in the third quarter after Korver hit his third 3-pointer of the game. The Magic answered with an 11-0 run to pull within seven points. Millsap answered with a pair of 3-pointers near the end of the period as the Hawks regained a double-digit lead. The Magic weren’t done. They went on a 14-3 run in the fourth quarter to pull within three points, 89-86. The Magic still weren’t done. After five straight Hawks points, the Magic went on a 10-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Mario Hezonja to take a 96-94 lead with under four minutes remaining. Horford answered with a bucket to tie the game and set up the final three minutes.

5. Late-game dramatics

After Millsap was called for two straight questionable foul calls, he got the ball down low with the Hawks trailing by one. He spun and delivered a two-handed jam. After an empty Magic possession Horford hit a mid-range jumper for a three-point lead, 100-97. The Magic got an Elfrid Payton free-throw to get within one. They would get the ball back with 21.8 seconds left. Mario Hezonja drained a 3-pointer with 14.8 seconds left and Millsap hit one of two free throws with 11.7 seconds left for a 101-101 tie. Millsap got a steal as the Magic scrambled for a final shot. The Hawks had 1.2 seconds left but a Millsap hit a jumper after the buzzer for send the game into overtime.

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