The Atlanta Hawks came out of the gate and started the third quarter a little bit flat. Fortunately, for Hawks fans, they were able to right the ship and still lead the Orlando Magic through three frames.
Joe Johnson has 19 points and Jamal Crawford added 11 to post the Hawks to a 66-62 lead through three quarters at Philips Arena.
Dwight Howard netted 15 points and Jason Richardson has 14 for Orlando, which has connected on a Magic series-high six 3-pointers in the game.
The Hawks struggled with their shot, connecting on just 2-of-14 to start the third as the Magic tied the game at 55. But Atlanta found its footing thereafter, tightened up the defense and started making shots to take a four point lead into the final quarter.
Atlanta went away from its game plan a bit in the frame. After posting 14 assists on 23 field goals in the first half, the Hawks had just two assists on five field goals in the third quarter. They also allowed the Magic to post a trio of 3-pointers in the third.
Orlando deserves some credit for clamping down on defense to start the third quarter. And, as always, he who dictates on defense controls the offensive side, too.
Atlanta's going to have to get a little more active in this one and defend a little better in the fourth if they want to hold home court in the series.