Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/12/12
ORLANDO -The Atlanta Hawks beat the Orlando Magic for the eighth consecutive time Wednesday night, riding center Al Horford, power forward Josh Smith and another strong defensive performance to an 86-80 victory. Horford had 13 points and 13 rebounds, his seventh consecutive double-double. Smith had 16 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. Guard Jeff Teague had 16 points. The Hawks have the third best record in the Eastern Conference, trailing only the Knicks and the Heat. The Magic (8-13) were led by Arron Afflalo with 16 points and reserve J.J. Redick with 13 points.The Hawks (13-6), who have become one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, never trailed in the second half. The Magic never got closer than six points. The Magic, who were coming off a successful, West Coast trip (3-2), struggled throughout the night, hitting just 38.3 percent from the field. The Hawks let a 14-point lead in the first half disappear, but the 19-point lead they built early in the second half was enough to withstand a late charge by the Magic. Less than five minutes into the second half - and frustrated by his team's lack of energy -- Magic coach Jacque Vaughn called time out and made a five-man substitution, yanking his entire starting lineup. The Hawks led, 46-34, at intermission, dominating both the beginning and the end of the first half. The Hawks opened a 16-2 lead to start the game, briefly lost their lead, then closed the second quarter with a 11-2 run. It took the Magic almost five minutes to score their first points. Smith, who is having another All-Star-worthy season, had 10 points and two blocks by intermission. Kyle Korver, who returned after missing the previous five games, hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first half. The Magic's 34 points at intermission were the fewest anyone has scored against the Hawks in the first half this season. NOTES: Korver had missed the past five games with back spasms and tending to the birth of his first child . . . Veteran Anthony Morrow made his first start of the season Wednesday, replacing DeShawn Stevenson, who was being rested because of tired knees. The Hawks play Thursday night in Atlanta against the Bobcats. Stevenson, a 12-year veteran, has not played on back-to-back nights this season. "It's just a decision we have made," said coach Larry Drew before Wednesday's game. . . . . . Drew had no complaints about the NBA giving center Zaza Pachulia an official warning under the new rules against flopping. Pachulia was found guilty of his acting job Friday night when he tried to sell a foul that never happened. He was the first Hawks player to receive a warning this season and the eighth player in the NBA. . . . . .The Magic went into the game last in free throws attempted per game (17.25), while the Hawks (19.58) were 28th in the league. . . . .The Magic still are without veteran forwards Al Harrington (knee), who has yet to play this season, and Hedo Turkoglu (broken left hand), who was hurt in the first game of the season. "Offensively, we've grown as a team," said Vaughn, when asked to assess his team after 20 games.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker