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Hawks go wire-to-wire in win over Magic


The Falcons could use this offense in the Super Bowl.

The Hawks drubbed the Magic with a high-powered offensive attack in a 113-86 victory Saturday night on the eve of the Falcons matchup against the Patriots for the NFL Championship.

The Hawks led by as many as 27 points in the wire-to-wire win that saw them shoot better than 65 percent through the first half at Philips Arena.

The Hawks (30-21) have won two straight and moved a season-high nine games over .500. They moved into a tie with the Raptors for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and are just a half-game behind the Wizards for third place.

“It started with our defense,” Howard said. “We came out tonight and played great defense. We were able to get out and run, get some easy buckets. After that, we just kept looking forward.”

Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a game-high 21 points each, in just 28 and 27 minutes respectively. Millsap has scored 20 or more points a team-high 19 games this season. Hardaway picked up where he left off from his 33-point performance in Thursday’s win over the Rockets as he scored the Hawks first two baskets on a layup and a dunk.

Howard had his 33rd double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in just 23 minutes. It was his seventh double-double in the past eight games. Dennis Schroder had 17 points and 10 assists in just 25 minutes. Malcolm Delaney also scored in double figures with 12 points.

The Magic (20-33) were led by Aaron Gordon with 16 points.

The Hawks started fast. They shot 68 percent in the first quarter and led by as many as 13 points. They shot 66 percent in the first half and led by as many as 26 points. They took a 65-39 advantage into the intermission. The Hawks pushed their lead to as many as 27 points in the third quarter and controlled the rest of the game with Millsap, Howard and Schroder resting the entire fourth quarter.

Late in the victory, an M-V-P chant broke out after Falcons quarterback was honored with the award Saturday night and it was announced to the crowd.



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