Dwight Howard had 33 points and 19 rebounds, Jameer Nelson added 13 points and eight rebounds, and the Magic held off the Atlanta Hawks, 88-82, last night in Orlando to even the best-of-seven series, 1-1.
Orlando used a 10-1 run to close the third quarter to take an 11-point lead into the fourth and fought off a late Atlanta charge.
After allowing the Hawks to become the first opponent in 16 straight playoff games to score 100 points against it in Game 1, Orlando’s defense tightened around Atlanta’s shooters in Game 2. The Hawks shot 39 percent.
“It’s not anything I did — our guys did it,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said when asked about the adjustments he made after Game 1. “You’ve got to get out and take the challenge. Every game sort of takes on a life of its own and you just got to do whatever it takes to get the win on that night.’’
Jamal Crawford led Atlanta with 25 points and Josh Smith added 17.
The Magic led, 65-54, going into the fourth quarter.
Joe Johnson’s basket cut the deficit to 78-72, and he got another basket following an Orlando turnover to trim it to 4 points with 2:43 to play.
A steal by the Hawks ended with a dunk by Al Horford to pull Atlanta within a basket. But Hedo Turkoglu got a friendly roll to push it back to 4 and Jason Richardson drilled a 3-pointer that made it 83-76 with 1:08 left.
Crawford dropped in a layup that made it 84-80, but Orlando was able to hit enough free throws the rest of the way to secure the victory.
Mavericks 101, Trail Blazers 89 — Peja Stojakovic tied his career playoff best with five 3-pointers and had 21 points, and Jason Kidd continued showing off a surprising scoring touch with 18 points, powering host Dallas past Portland for a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 of his 33 points in the final quarter for Dallas.
Portland led most of the first half, but the Mavericks went ahead on a 3-pointer by Kidd seconds into the second half and never trailed again. Dallas spread out its scoring, tightened up its defense and protected the ball — zero turnovers the final 28:42.