--Hawks rookie center Al Horford collected his 20th double-double of the season against Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard, who matched in the double-double category. More surprising, though, was that Horford played Howard to a statistical draw, with assists from both Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia off the bench. Horford finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a block. Howard, meanwhile, finished his night with a quiet 11 points, 16 rebounds, two assists and two blocks."We played a team effort on him," Smith said. "It's Al Horford having to bang him and Zaza having to bang him. We did a great job on him, just trying to not to give him any easy looks around the basket. We wanted to just foul him as much as possible and we were just focused."
Horford also made two of the Hawks' biggest plays in the fourth quarter. He scored on a layup out of a timeout, was fouled and sank the free throw for a 91-85 lead with 2:04 to play. And later he snagged what had to be the rebound of the game when grabbed a Mike Bibby miss with 22.9 seconds left and the Hawks clinging to a 93-90 lead. The Hawks made five straight free throws after that to close the game out. "I thought he was huge down the stretch," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "He stepped in there and made some huge plays."
--Magic coach Stan Van Gundy took some of the blame for not going to Howard more Saturday. "Late in the game we should have gone to Dwight more often," Van Gundy said. "I get nervous sometimes when he has to go to the line. All in all we didn't play well tonight and the Hawks took advantage of us." Howard took just five shots the entire game, a season low, and his third game with under 10 field goal attempts.
--The Magic entered the game with a 22-1 record on the road this season when leading going into the fourth quarter. But they left with a familiar feeling: a loss in Atlanta. The Magic is 0-7 against the Hawks at Philips Arena in their last seven trips to town.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Joe Johnson played really well and he definitely destroyed us at the end of the game. He's a very good player and we did not do a good job of getting defensive help on him, which is why he had a monster night." -- Magic coach Stan Van Gundy on his team's troubles containing Joe Johnson.