The Union Recorder

Local Sports

December 13, 2012

Hawks hold off late charge to beat Magic 86-80

(Continued)

ORLANDO, Fla. —

During its eight-game losing streak to Atlanta, Orlando is averaging just 79.4 points and shooting a paltry 39 percent.

"Making shots helps, but it's not everything," Afflalo said. "On the road I think we played more focused, spirited basketball. I guess it's something ... The way we start the game has to be with more energy. One of us, next game, will take it upon ourselves to make sure that it happens."

Atlanta played just eight players, but was clearly the livelier team early on, despite Wednesday marking the end of a three-game road swing and Drew deciding to rest forward DeShawn Stevenson's ailing knee.

Drew said they likely would continue resting Stevenson for back-to-back games. Atlanta hosts Charlotte on Thursday.

With Stevenson unavailable, the Hawks got help from reserves Lou Williams and Kyle Korver, who returned after missing five straight games with back spasms.

Korver didn't show much rust at all, going 3 for 5 from 3-point range and finishing with nine points in 23 minutes. Williams was efficient from inside and out, scoring 11 points and stunting Magic runs with timely baskets.

"They gave us a tremendous lift," Drew said. "Both Kyle and Lou are two guys we particularly rely on when we hit a bump in the road, when we need a basket. It's usually one of those guys we draw a play for."

Drew also praised guard Devin Harris, who had 10 points after scoring seven combined in the previous two games against Memphis and Miami.

Smith had 10 first-half points to help the Hawks take a 46-34 lead at the break.

The Hawks hovered near 50-percent shooting for most of the half, scoring 20 points in the paint and turning several Magic turnovers into layups.

Orlando didn't help its cause, shooting 34 percent (14 of 41) and committing eight turnovers in the opening 24 minutes.

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