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Orlando is anemic in loss to lowly Hawks

Associated Press
Published February 1, 2005


ATLANTA - Antoine Walker hit a fallaway jumper with 2.3 seconds left, and the Hawks beat the Magic 80-79 Monday night, despite blowing a 12-point lead in the final five minutes.

Walker shot 4-for-13 and scored only 12, but his jumper over Dwight Howard helped the Hawks snap a four-game losing streak. Tony Delk led the Hawks with 17.

Steve Francis scored 24 for Orlando and Grant Hill added 19, but Hill's final shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Fresh off a two-game sweep of Washington, Orlando struggled most of the game against the Hawks, who have the worst record in the East.

A steal by Doug Christie led to Delk's sixth foul with 1:08 left, and Francis sank two free throws to pull the Magic to 76-75. An offensive rebound and putback by Howard gave Orlando a 77-76 lead with 33.8 seconds left, but Al Harrington answered with a baseline shot for a 78-77 lead.

After a timeout, Francis drove for a layup with 11.3 seconds left to give the lead back to the Magic before Walker came through for Atlanta.

Orlando ranks eighth in the league in scoring, but its road average of 96.2 is almost 10 points below its home average.