These aren’t the same old softy Atlanta Hawks we have seen in previous years and during the regular season. If anything, they’re the hottest playoff team no one’s really talking about. Vegas odds.
The Hawks had no doubts about getting the ball in their highest paid superstar Joe Johnson with the game on the line. Johnson hit four big free throws in the final 20 seconds and the Hawks are about to finish the Orlando Magic after an 88-85 victory in Game 4 and a commanding 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference series.
Jamal Crawford had another big game off the Atlanta bench, scoring 25. He nailed a 3-pointer from downtown for the second straight game. Atlanta will have the chance to wrap up the series in Orlando on Tuesday night in Game 5. Betting lines.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and his team are on the edge of elimination against a team they cruised by easily in the playoffs a year ago. Still, they had an opportunity at the end for a tying 3-pointer. Van Gundy set up a play for Hedo Turkoglu, but Al Horford prevented anything to happen by knocking the ball away.
Dwight Howard led the Magic with 29 points and 17 rebounds. His night was stained by eight turnovers. Gilbert Arenas, who didn’t even play in Game 3, picked up some of the scoring limp with Jason Richardson serving a one-game suspension for an altercation with Zaza Pachulia. Arenas scored 20 points.
The Magic continue to struggle with their jump shooting, unable to solve an Atlanta defense that is not consumed by Howard’s performance. Turkoglu was 2 of 12. Jameer Nelson struggled through a 3-of-12 performance. Ryan Anderson made just 1 of 6. J.J. Redick missed all six of his shots. Sports scores.
Now, Atlanta is one win away from advancing to the second round for the third year in a row.
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