at ATLANTA HAWKS
Eastern Conference Playoffs – First Round
Game 3 – Series tied 1-1
Tip-off: Friday, 9:35 p.m. EDT
Line: Orlando -1.5, Total: 181
After having split the first two games of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in Orlando, the Hawks and Magic head to Atlanta for a pivotal Game 3 Friday night.
The Magic squandered Dwight Howard’s 46-point, 19-rebound effort in a 10-point loss on Saturday before bouncing back to even the series on Tuesday behind Howard’s 33 points and 19 boards. Unlike Game 1 when no Orlando player besides Howard and Jameer Nelson scored more than six points, six Magic players tallied eight or more in Game 2.
The Hawks led by as many as 10 in the second quarter, 32-22, before a 12-2 run by the Magic tied it at 34-34. Orlando led 48-42 at halftime and used a 10-1 run to close the third quarter and take an 11-point lead into the fourth. The Hawks battled back, going on a 12-2 run to cut the Magic's lead to 78-76 with 2:14 remaining in regulation. That’s when Jameer Nelson, who played 38 minutes despite having missed part of the Magic's morning shoot-around with a migraine headache, made the key play in the game. He sprinted toward a loose ball, dove onto the parquet floor and collected it before Atlanta’s Kirk Hinrich could, then made a pass that eventually led to a Hedo Turkoglu hoop to culminate the possession. Jason Richardson’s three-pointer with 1:08 left increased Orlando’s margin to 83-76 and put the game out of reach.
Jamal Crawford led Atlanta with 25 points while Josh Smith, playing through an elbow injury, scored 17. The Hawks got 14 points from Joe Johnson and 10 points and 10 rebounds from Al Horford. The Hawks are 4-2 SU and 6-0 ATS in their six meetings with the Magic during the 2010-11 regular and postseasons, and they won both regular-season meetings in Atlanta despite being an underdog both times. That’s a far cry from last postseason’s four-game sweep in which the Hawks lost all four contests by an average of more than 25 points per game.
This following three-star trend from the FoxSheets likes Atlanta to keep its ATS success going against the Magic in Game 3:
ORLANDO is 5-19 ATS (20.8%, -15.9 Units) when the total is between 180 and 189.5 points this season. The average score was ORLANDO 91.0, OPPONENT 92.3 - (Rating = 3*).