ATLANTA (AP) — Paul Millsap scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter and the Atlanta Hawks recovered after losing an early 16-point lead to beat the Orlando Magic 95-88 on Friday night.
Led by Millsap’s 3-point shooting, the Hawks sprinted to a 19-3 lead. The Hawks hit their first eight shots before Orlando recovered to lead 45-42 at halftime. Atlanta regained the lead with a strong third quarter, stretched the advantage to 10 points in the final period before having to withstand a final surge from the Magic.
Nikola Vucevic, who had 21 points, made one of two free throws to cut Atlanta’s lead to 85-81. A 3-pointer by Tobias Harris with 2 minutes remaining pulled Orlando to within three at 87-84.
Jeff Teague’s soft jumper bounced off the rim and through the net for a 91-86 lead. Al Horford’s offensive rebound and jam padded the lead.
Teague had 17 points, all in the second half, for Atlanta, which has won three straight. The Hawks began the night with an eight-game lead in the Eastern Conference.
After Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, who had 19 points, opened the game with a 3-pointer, the Hawks scored the next 19 points.
A jam by Millsap gave Atlanta a 21-5 lead. Orlando outscored Atlanta 11-7 the remainder of the quarter and dominated the second period. A layup by Oladipo tied the game at 40, and Tobias Harris scored the last two baskets of the half to give the Magic a 45-42 lead at the break.
The Hawks committed 11 turnovers and made only five of 19 shots in their ugly second quarter. The Hawks regained their shooting touch — and the lead — in the third period, when they had only one turnover.
Atlanta closed the third period with a 10-2 run, including 3-pointers by Dennis Schroder and DeMarre Carroll, for a 76-67 lead entering the final quarter.
Magic: Harris had 15 points. … G Evan Fournier was held out with a sore right hip. … F Aaron Gordon did not play after suffering a sprained right ankle in Wednesday night’s overtime loss to Miami. … The Magic outscored the Hawks 29-14 in the second period.
Hawks: Horford had 17 points and 13 rebounds. … Millsap had four 3-pointers in the first period to match his season high for 3s in a game. He didn’t make another 3. … Coach Mike Budenholzer and Orlando coach James Borrego worked together as assistants in San Antonio. “He and I spent a ton of time together,” Budenholzer said. “Locked in a video room. I may have spent more time with him than anybody in the NBA. Definitely more time locked in a room than anybody in the NBA.”
Magic: host Charlotte on Sunday.
Hawks: at Miami on Saturday.
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