ATLANTA HAWKS 126 – 135 ORLANDO MAGIC
Here’s a few quick stats, facts & thoughts about our win last night & what it has done to the playoff race.
The Stats Of The Night
With 135 points we hit our season high on scoring.
The Magic hit 18 of our 3 point shots, shooting 47% from the 3.
We had 5 players score in double figures, 4 in the 20’s.
Frustratingly, we trailed by 61-56 at half, but scored 79 points in 2nd half.
Going into the 4th we were still down by 96-93.
With the strength of our defence it is interesting to see that we now have a 14-1 win record when we score at least 110 points in a game.
The result is against a much improved team than last time we met Atlanta, when they came into the Amway having lost 10 straight. The Hawks’ player & team stats have clearly improved since that game on 29/12. That being said the Hawks still went into the game as the 27th worst defensive team allowing an average of 118.5 ppg. Their form was also much better than ours at 5-5 across their last 10 games.
The bench gave us 42 points last night, along with 17 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals & 2 blocks. At the end of the 1st quarter it wasn’t looking good as we allowed the Hawks to pull ahead. However as the game went on the second unit gelled & were instrumental in getting us back into the game. After their first game together Michael Carter-Williams, T Ross, Mo Bamba, Gary Clark & James Ennis look like they may have the makings of something.
We now have a 23-31 record, remaining 8th in the East.
Our closest rivals for seeding, the Brooklyn Nets won last night also, with a clutch 2 point jump shot from Dinwiddie with 3 seconds remaining. The Nets remain 7th & now have a 24-28 record, with 1 win more & 2 games in hand on the Magic.
In 9th the Wizards are 18-33, being 5 wins back from us but they have 3 games in hand.
And finally to our opinion: This was a good win & an offensive performance we desperately needed. We need to see the versions of Nikola Vucevic (24), Evan Fournier (22), Aaron Gordon (26) & Terence Ross (21) down the final stretch of the season that we saw last night. Fournier aside, they’ve all underperformed this season.
We go again on Wednesday in the Amway against the Detroit Pistons, another must win game against a struggling Eastern Conference team.