Orlando snaps its long road dry spell
by George Henry
Associated Press Sports Writer
November 27, 2013 12:54 AM | 710 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jameer Nelson helped fuel Orlando’s offense Tuesday with 10 assists in the Magic’s win over the Hawks.
<BR>Associated Press photo
Jameer Nelson helped fuel Orlando’s offense Tuesday with 10 assists in the Magic’s win over the Hawks.
Associated Press photo
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ATLANTA — Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn challenged his players at halftime to tighten up defensively and force the Atlanta Hawks to take bad shots.

Arron Afflalo was pleased that everyone did as they were told.

Afflalo scored 26 points, Victor Oladipo and Andrew Nicholson added 18 apiece and the Magic snapped a 17-game road losing streak with a 109-92 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday night.

“We got some fast-break layups and made some shots, but defense was the key,” Afflalo said. “It got us into a more free-flowing game, which helped us out.”

Al Horford and Jeff Teague each finished with 15 points for the Hawks, who lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

“We had some careless turnovers, and I think that impacted the game in the third quarter,” Horford said. “After that, you have to give them credit. They made shots. A lot of them were tough shots, but they made them. They made a run, and we really couldn’t recover after that.”

The Magic began the night having lost four straight overall and five in a row on the road. They won away from Orlando for the first time since last March 4 at New Orleans.

Vaughn had planned to start Tobias Harris for the first time this season, but the third-year forward was unable to dress because of recurring issues with his left ankle.

Instead, Vaughn went with the lineup of Afflalo, Oladipo, Glen Davis, Nikola Vucevic and Jameer Nelson.

Vucevic grabbed 15 rebounds, Nelson added 10 assists, and the Magic got a combined 30 points from Nicholson and E’Twaun Moore off the bench.

The Hawks never led after Afflalo’s 3-pointer put the Magic ahead 67-65 with 5:09 left in the third.

From there, Orlando went on a 29-9 run. Afflalo’s 3 started the rally and Oladipo’s straightaway 3 ended it with 7:12 left in the game.

“We came into halftime in decent shape, but we made some shots in the second half which helped us,” Vaughn said. “Defensively, we were really aggressive to the basketball. We were locating shooters and we were in the right place. It was fun to see.”

Orlando snapped a seven-game skid at Philips Arena, winning in Atlanta for the first time since Nov. 26, 2009. The Magic had lost 11 straight in the regular season to their Southeast Divisional rivals.

Hawks guard Kyle Korver hit a 3 in his 88th straight game and needs one to tie Dana Barros for the NBA’s longest streak. Barros set the mark from Dec. 23, 1994-Jan. 10, 1996, with Philadelphia and Boston.

Korver missed his first two 3-point attempts before giving the Hawks a 43-39 lead with 4:06 left in the second.

The starting backcourt of Teague and Korver went 1-for-8 from the field in the second half. Vaughn credited Nelson, the Magic’s longtime point guard, with setting the tone on both ends of the floor.

“He hit a 3 from the right side that got him going offensively and then he was able to get downhill and get into the lane and find some shooters,” Vaughn said. “He chased Korver tonight and did an excellent job defensively.”

The Hawks shot 32.4 percent in the second half while Orlando was shooting 58.1 percent.

“I was coming up short every time,” said Teague, who had 19 points and 13 assists in Atlanta’s home win over the Magic earlier this month. “I was on a fast break one-on-one with Jameer Nelson, and it just comes up short. It’s just how it fell for me tonight. No excuse. They played well.”

NOTES: Harris has missed 12 of 13 games this season with a left ankle sprain. He returned in Sunday’s home loss to Phoenix, scoring six points in 16 minutes. ... Hawks G Shelvin Mack sprained his left ankle in the second quarter and did not return. Mack had six points in 8 minutes. ... Magic F Maurice Harkless, coming off the bench for the first time this season, finished with three points in 11 minutes. ... Davis took Harkless’ spot in the starting lineup, finishing with eight points and eight boards. ... Atlanta rookie G Dennis Schroder, the 17th overall draft pick, entered the game late in the fourth. Playing for the first time in four games, Schroder had four points in 5 minutes.

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