After a slow start for Atlanta in a Super Bowl Sunday tip-off, the Hawks rallied back late in the fourth quarter to tie the Magic before a Nikola Vucevic turn-around jumper beat the buzzer to give Orlando the win, 96-94.
Vucevic's buzzer-beater makes the Hawks 0-10 since the beginning of last season when either team attempts a game-winning shot in the final second of the game.
Jeff Teague's runner in the first quarter to give the Hawks a 4-2 lead was the last time they would hold a lead in the game. The Magic took the lead on the next play with an Evan Fournier three-pointer and didn't surrender it until the Hawks tied it up at 94 with Kent Bazemore's three-pointer with 35 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Vucevic set an illegal screen to give the ball right back to Atlanta. Paul Millsap then missed a jumper, but Al Horford came up with the offensive rebound to give -- what should have been -- the final shot to the Hawks.
Instead, Jeff Teague took his shot a bit prematurely -- though, it was a look the Hawks would take every time -- and after Millsap's failed putback off of the rebound, the Magic were left with more than two seconds to get a shot of their own.
Vucevic received the inbounds pass and immediately pivoted for a long turnaround jumper in the corner that floated seemingly endlessly in the air before dropping down softly in the net to give the Magic a 96-94 win.
It was a game that the Hawks were quite lucky to be in after shooting poorly for a majority of the game and suffering from a large amount of turnovers -- especially in the first half. They finished the game shooting just 38.5 percent from the field, compared to 46 percent from the Magic. Atlanta managed to stay in the game thanks to some hot three-point shooting late in the game, as it finished 13-28 from beyond the arc for a blistering 46.4 percent, which is oddly eight percent higher than the overall mark from the field.
The other area that gave the Hawks a chance in the game was some unusually effective offensive rebounding. They out rebounded the Magic 50-43, including an 18-8 edge on the offensive glass that resulted in some big second-chance points.
Bazemore and Teague were the big offensive factors in the game. Teague was hot early as he had his way with Elfrid Payton nearly every time he was being guarded by him. Teague finished with 24 points on 10-17 shooting and five assists, though he also had five turnovers. Bazemore had 23 points on 8-17 shooting and eight rebounds.
The bench was perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the Hawks' performance as they combined to play more than 68 minutes with just 12 total points. Three of those came from Thabo Sefolosha's halfcourt heave to finish the third quarter. The Magic bench was actually worse, finishing with just 11 total points.
The winning streak was short-lived, ending at just three games after the defeat to Orlando. The loss will also bump the Hawks down in the standings in the jam-packed Easter Conference. Atlanta will get the opportunity for revenge on Monday night as both teams head north to Atlanta for a back-to-back.