The Hawks win streak ended at nine games – but not before two dramatic shots.
The Magic came away with a 100-99 victory Saturday night when Tobias Harris scored at the buzzer. The game-winner came three seconds after Kyle Korver hit a 3-pointer to give the Hawks a one-point lead.
The Hawks were led by Jeff Teague with a game-high 24 points and eight rebounds. Al Horford added 18 points and eight rebounds and Paul Millsap had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Here are my five observations from the game:
1. You had to expect the game to go down to the final seconds as it was back-and-forth all game. The Hawks biggest lead was six points. The Magic biggest lead was five points. The teams split the back-to-back games. The Hawks failed early to take advantage of the Magic early blunders. They committed 10 first-quarter turnovers that led to 11 Hawks’ points. Guard Victor Oladipo had five of the turnovers, tying a season-high, in the first period alone.
2. The Hawks bench was strong again. They outscored the Magic bench 30-19. Mike Scott, Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schroder all had 10 points for the Hawks. For Bazemore, it was a season-high. His previous best was seven points and he came into the game with 31 points on the season. The Magic got 12 of their bench points from Ben Gordon, who hit all 3-point attempts and all three free-throw attempts when he was fouled on a long-range attempt. Their bench had only seven points Friday, five from Gordon.
3. Nikola Vucevic made a difference. The Magic missed Friday night’s game in Atlanta, the fifth straight game out with a back injury. He finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds and one block. The block came on a Teague drive with 40 seconds remaining that help the Magic keep a small lead before Korver’s big shot.
4. You have to like the tenacity of Schroder. With 7:45 left in the fourth quarter, Bazemore fell on Evan Fournier and was called for a foul. Schroder gave Fournier a little shove out of the way so he could help Bazemore up off the floor. Fournier shoved back. Schroder didn’t back down.
5. The schedule is about to get hard on the Hawks and we’ll get a chance to see how good this team really is. The Hawks will host the Bulls Monday, play at the Cavaliers Wednesday, Rockets Saturday and Mavericks next Monday and host the Clippers next Tuesday. It will be a tall challenge to say the least.