Orlando, FL (Best E Casino) - Josh Smith scored 23 points and pulled down a season-high 19 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks
escaped Amway Center with an 89-87 overtime win over the Orlando Magic
"I thought our guys did a great job in just responding to the challenge. We really wanted to come in here and play with aggression," said Atlanta head coach Larry Drew. "I thought we really did a great job."
Joe Johnson added 14 points and Marvin Williams and Jeff Teague scored 13 apiece for Atlanta, which has won two straight since snapping a three-game losing streak on Wednesday.
Orlando was led by Ryan Anderson who scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Dwight Howard added a double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds but it wasn't enough as the Magic have now dropped two of their last three contests.
The Magic ripped off an 8-1 run over the final 3:43 of the game to cut the deficit to 78-76 with 12.2 seconds left.
Jameer Nelson ran a pick-and-roll with Howard at the top of the key, allowing Nelson to get to the rim. His layup was too strong off the backboard, but Howard was there for the putback dunk to tie the game.
Atlanta would get a chance with 1.3 seconds left in the game, but Teague's jumper from the elbow missed, sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, Johnson knocked down back-to-back jumpers to give the Hawks some breathing room, but Anderson answered with a triple to put the Magic down just one.
Smith then turned the ball over but Hedo Turkoglu missed a three for the Magic and Williams knocked down 1-of-2 from the line to give the Hawks an 88-86 lead.
Orlando would again have a chance to tie or win with a three as it got the ball with 15.8 seconds left in overtime.
Jason Richardson drove the lane, drew the contact to get to the line, but he missed the second free throw and Atlanta grabbed the board. Zaza Pachulia went 1-of-2 from the line, giving Orlando the ball with yet another chance to tie or win.
Richardson caught the inbounds pass, but his three-point try was off the mark. Orlando would wrangle the offensive rebound but a Nelson three also missed the mark as Atlanta escaped with the victory.
"It's definitely tough, we had opportunities," said Nelson. "We had opportunities, just had to execute a little better."
The Hawks used a 12-3 run in the early stages of the first, but Richardson reeled off five straight to close the gap to 20-17 at the end of the quarter.
Williams' half-court heave hit nothing but net to beat the halftime buzzer, giving the Hawks a 41-39 lead going into the locker room.
Atlanta scored the final six points of the third as it held Orlando to just 15 points in the quarter to extend its lead to 61-54.
Orlando will visit Milwaukee Saturday night for the second of a back-to-back, while Atlanta will host Miami on Sunday before heading on the road for five straight...The Hawks are now 7-0 when Smith scores 20-or-more points.