Fournier, Vucevic power Magic past Hawks, 122-103
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 22, 2019 07:09 AM
Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) shoots as Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) defends in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)
ATLANTA (AP) — Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic scored 29 points apiece to lead the Orlando Magic to a 122-103 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in the season's first matchup between the Southeast Division rivals.
Vucevic had 14 rebounds and Fournier had seven assists as Orlando snapped a three-game losing streak.
Dewayne Dedmon led Atlanta with 24 points on the holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. and in the city where the civil rights leader was born.
Magic coach Steve Clifford and Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce both expressed uncertainties before the game about the matchups. "I think we'll have to adjust on the fly," Pierce said.
The Hawks struggled to find an answer for Vucevic. The seven-foot center made only one three-pointer but found most of his points near the basket. He made 12-of-23 shots from the field.
Vucevic also made an impact on defense, blocking an Alex Len shot when Atlanta trailed by eight points, 103-95. D.J. Augustin's three-pointer pushed Orlando's lead back to double figures, 106-95. The Hawks didn't mount another serious surge.
Dedmon forced Vucevic to play defense far from the basket. Dedmon made 5-of-7 three-pointers.
Atlanta led 44-38 before Orlando scored 12 straight points for a 50-44 advantage. The Magic led 60-57 at halftime and stretched the advantage to 91-78 through three quarters.
Trae Young had 21 points for the Hawks. John Collins had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Magic: F Aaron Gordon (sore lower back) missed his second straight game. Coach Steve Clifford said Gordon is doing better but added: "There's no way he could play. ... When you can look at him and see he's not OK, then he's not OK." ... Augustin had 15 points while making 4-of-6 three's.
Hawks: Rookie F Kevin Huerter (sore neck) was ruled out minutes before tipoff. Taurean Prince was the fill-in starter, shortly after Pierce said there was no immediate plan to move Prince back into the lineup. Huerter has started 27 games and has been an emerging scorer, especially on three-pointers. ... Jeremy Lin had 15 points.
Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who worked closely with King, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game as part of the King holiday celebration. Trae Young wrote King's famous words "I have a dream" on his shoe.
Magic: Orlando plays at Brooklyn on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).
Hawks: Atlanta begins a seven-game road trip when it visits Chicago on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).