Magic tops Hawks, ties series

Magic center Dwight Howard, who scored a game-high 33, goes up for a shot against Hawks center Josh Powell in the first half.

Associated Press

Magic center Dwight Howard, who scored a game-high 33, goes up for a shot against Hawks center Josh Powell in the first half.

ORLANDO — After the Magic's humbling Game 1 loss to the Hawks, coach Stan Van Gundy said that if his team cut down its turnovers and played better defense, he felt like everything would be fine in Game 2.

Orlando only fulfilled half of that equation Tuesday night, but it was enough to earn a win.

Dwight Howard had 33 points and 19 rebounds and Jameer Nelson added 13 points and eight rebounds to help the Magic hold off the Hawks 88-82.

The Magic evened the best-of-seven series, with Game 3 on Friday night in Atlanta.

Howard played all 48 minutes in Game 2 and took 19 free throws. He played 45 minutes in Game 1.

"It's tough," he said. "But you can't think about that while you're on the court. You can't think about any pains. You just have to fight through it. … As much as I get hit and beat on during the game, I just think about what we're trying to accomplish."

Orlando used a 10-1 run to close the third quarter to take an 11-point lead and fought off a late charge. The Magic struggled from the field, shooting just 34 percent, and had 16 turnovers.

But after allowing the Hawks to become the first opponent in 16 straight playoff games to score 100 against it in Game 1, the Magic's defense tightened in Game 2, and the Hawks shot 39 percent.

"It's not anything I did — our guys did it," Van Gundy said. "You gotta get out and take the challenge. … Every game sort of takes on a life of its own, and you just gotta do whatever it takes to get the win on that night."

Jamal Crawford led the Hawks with 25 points and Josh Smith added 17, but they missed 15 shots between them.

The Hawks had 15 turnovers as Howard floated in the paint. It seemed to disrupt the Hawks' flow and helped the Magic close out on jump shooters.

"That's what great defensive players do," said the Hawks' Al Horford, a former Florida standout. "They get out there, and it seems like they are everywhere. He does a good job of that."

Magic 88, Hawks 82

ATLANTA (82): Smith 8-14 0-0 17, Horford 4-11 2-4 10, Collins 0-1 1-2 1, Hinrich 4-12 0-0 9, Johnson 6-15 0-2 14, Powell 0-1 0-0 0, Crawford 8-17 6-7 25, Williams 1-6 2-2 4, Pachulia 1-3 0-0 2, Wilkins 0-0 0-0 0, Armstrong 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 32-81 11-17 82.

ORLANDO (88): Turkoglu 4-16 1-2 10, Bass 2-6 4-4 8, Howard 9-12 15-19 33, Nelson 4-15 5-6 13, J.Richardson 3-12 0-0 8, Anderson 3-7 0-0 8, Arenas 1-3 0-0 2, Q.Richardson 0-1 0-0 0, Redick 1-6 4-5 6. Totals 27-78 29-36 88.

Atlanta 22 20 12 28— 82

Orlando 16 32 17 23— 88

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 7-20 (Crawford 3-5, Johnson 2-3, Hinrich 1-4, Smith 1-4, Horford 0-1, Williams 0-3), Orlando 5-23 (Anderson 2-4, J.Richardson 2-5, Turkoglu 1-7, Arenas 0-1, Redick 0-3, Nelson 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsAtlanta 49 (Horford 10), Orlando 64 (Howard 19). AssistsAtlanta 15 (Johnson 5), Orlando 9 (Turkoglu 5). Total FoulsAtlanta 27, Orlando 21. TechnicalsSmith, Orlando defensive three second. A19,160 (18,500).

Celtics grab 2-0 lead against hurting Knicks

BOSTON — The Celtics pulled out their first two playoff games with big finishes. They want to play much better from the start next time.

"We were lucky to win," coach Doc Rivers said after a 96-93 victory over the depleted Knicks and Carmelo Anthony's 42 points.

Kevin Garnett sank the go-ahead basket with 14 seconds left then stole the ball with 4 seconds remaining as the sixth-seeded Knicks — without Amare Stoudemire (back) for the second half and Chauncey Billups (knee) for the whole game — gave the third-seeded Celtics all they could handle. Stoudemire expects to play in Game 3; Billups isn't so sure.

"I probably (have) never been more proud of a team and how they battled the circumstances," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said, "how hard they played and how tough they played."

Rajon Rondo scored a career playoff-high 30 to lead the Celtics.

Anthony matched his career playoff high for points and set a high with 17 rebounds for the Knicks. Former Florida State standout Toney Douglas had 14 points in place of Billups.

"The Celtics didn't do anything special," Anthony said. "They won two games on their homecourt. Now it's our turn to go to our homecourt and try to do the same thing."

Celtics 96, Knicks 93

NEW YORK (93): Anthony 14-30 10-11 42, Stoudemire 2-9 0-2 4, Turiaf 1-3 4-4 6, Fields 2-4 0-2 4, Douglas 5-16 2-2 14, Carter 1-3 0-0 2, Walker 0-11 2-2 2, Jeffries 5-7 0-0 10, Sha.Williams 1-3 3-4 6, Mason 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 32-90 21-27 93.

BOSTON (96): Pierce 8-18 3-3 20, Garnett 6-16 0-0 12, J.O'Neal 1-3 0-0 2, Rondo 13-23 4-7 30, Allen 6-8 2-2 18, Davis 2-3 0-0 4, West 1-4 2-2 4, Krstic 0-0 0-0 0, Green 2-8 1-2 6. Totals 39-83 12-16 96.

New York 21 24 22 26— 93

Boston 23 21 30 22— 96

3-Point GoalsNew York 8-25 (Anthony 4-8, Douglas 2-6, Sha.Williams 1-2, Mason 1-3, Fields 0-1, Walker 0-5), Boston 6-11 (Allen 4-4, Green 1-2, Pierce 1-3, Rondo 0-1, West 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsNew York 65 (Anthony 17), Boston 47 (Garnett 10). AssistsNew York 14 (Anthony 6), Boston 21 (Rondo 7). Total FoulsNew York 17, Boston 22. TechnicalsWalker, Boston defensive three second. A18,624 (18,624).

Mavs roll to 2-0 edge

DALLAS — Peja Stojakovic tied his career playoff best with five 3-pointers and had 21 points and Jason Kidd scored 18, powering the Mavericks to a 101-89 win over the Trail Blazers and a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 of his 33 in the final quarter for Dallas, which hadn't won the first two games of a playoff series since the 2006 NBA Finals.

Odom honored: Lakers forward Lamar Odom won the Sixth Man award as the league's top reserve, receiving 96 of 117 first-place votes and 513 points from the media panel to beat the Mavericks' Jason Terry (244 points). He is the first Laker to win the award, which began in 1983.

Around the league: Suns forward Grant Hill was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's board of governors for a three-year term, the first active player to earn a position. … Pacers point guard Darren Collison (sprained left ankle) expects to play in Game 3 against the Bulls on Thursday. … After being told Monday the Rockets will not retain him as coach, Rick Adelman said Tuesday that he was uneasy with the direction GM Daryl Morey and owner Leslie Alexander wanted to go.

Magic tops Hawks, ties series 04/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 1:29am]

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