tampabay.com

Streaking Magic players say they haven't hit stride

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published November 26, 2006


ORLANDO - Even with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Magic sees plenty of room for improvement.

Carlos Arroyo scored 15, Dwight Howard added 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Orlando beat Atlanta 98-79 Saturday.

"We did a good job tonight, but it was nothing special," said guard Keyon Dooling, who helped the Magic bench outscore Atlanta's reserves 49-32. "I think if you asked any guy on our team, they would all say we're playing okay, but we're not playing near the best ball we can."

Orlando, which has won three straight and seven of its last eight, put six players in double figures. Hedo Turkoglu had 14 points and Keith Bogans had 13.

"We're still searching a little bit," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "I think we're where we hoped we would be recordwise at this point, but we've still got a lot of areas we could clean up."

Joe Johnson scored 16 to lead the Hawks, who have lost five of their last six games, shot only 36 percent and committed 20 turnovers.

"I'm going to have to give the Magic credit, they did a great job on us," Johnson said. "We got off to a terrible start and we don't have enough experience to come back from that."

The Hawks missed their first nine shots from the field, opening the door for the Magic to take a 21-7 lead. Turkoglu had nine points and Jameer Nelson eight as the Magic shot 59 percent in the first quarter to lead 31-18.

Then it got worse. The Hawks shot only 20 percent (4-for-20) in the second quarter, falling behind 57-29 at halftime.

"We haven't taken a good butt whipping in a while, so it was time to have one of these games," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "We were off for the whole first half. It's just so uncharacteristic of how we've been playing defensively to give up 57 points in a half."

Orlando missed its first eight shots of the third quarter, but the best the Hawks could do was cut the lead to 59-41. Turkoglu hit a 3-pointer to push Orlando's lead back over 20.

 

ATLANTA (79): Smith 3-8 2-2 8, S.Williams 6-11 3-5 16, Pachulia 1-9 5-8 7, Johnson 6-15 4-4 16, Bozeman 0-4 0-2 0, Lue 5-9 4-4 14, Stoudamire 3-10 7-8 14, Jones 2-4 0-0 4, Freije 0-3 0-0 0, Batista 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-73 25-33 79.

ORLANDO (98): Turkoglu 6-10 1-3 14, Battie 0-4 0-0 0, Howard 4-6 3-5 11, Bogans 4-8 4-4 13, Nelson 4-9 2-4 11, Dooling 4-9 3-3 13, Arroyo 4-11 6-6 15, Milicic 3-7 1-2 7, Ariza 3-8 1-2 7, Outlaw 1-2 0-0 2, Diener 1-1 0-0 3, Redick 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 35-77 21-29 98.

Atlanta 18 11 28 22 - 79

Orlando 31 26 22 19 - 98

3-Point Goals-Atlanta 2-13 (S.Williams 1-2, Stoudamire 1-3, Smith 0-1, Freije 0-1, Johnson 0-2, Lue 0-2, Bozeman 0-2), Orlando 7-16 (Dooling 2-3, Diener 1-1, Arroyo 1-2, Nelson 1-2, Turkoglu 1-3, Bogans 1-4, Redick 0-1). Fouled Out-Howard. Rebounds-Atlanta 50 (Pachulia 11), Orlando 55 (Howard 11). Assists-Atlanta 10 (Lue 3), Orlando 21 (Turkoglu 5). Total Fouls-Atlanta 24, Orlando 24. Technicals-Johnson. Flagrant fouls-Jones. A-17,451. (17,248).