McGrady, Miller key Magic rout

Published: Sunday, December 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 1, 2002 at 1:01 a.m.
ORLANDO - Tracy McGrady was so good in the second and third quarters, he earned the final 12 minutes off.
McGrady scored 28 points and handed out six assists while Mike Miller had 22 points Saturday night as the Magic routed the Atlanta Hawks 117-92. Orlando shot 52 percent from the field and led by as many as 38.
The Magic and Hawks traded jump shots for the first quarter and a half, and Orlando led 48-45 before McGrady got going. He scored eight straight points for Orlando as the Magic closed the second quarter with a 21-5 run for a 69-50 lead.
McGrady's run included a 20-footer, two driving layups and a pair of free throws as he demonstrated his versatility inside and out. He finished the half with 19 points and three assists, including one to Pat Garrity for a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
The onslaught continued in the third quarter as the Magic hit their first eight field goal attempts to push the advantage to 31 points. Once again, McGrady led the way, hitting three jump shots and a dunk. His fallaway 20-footer made it 86-55 with 7:10 left in the third period.
"Our concern with a big halftime lead was that our young guys would go showtime on us," Magic coach Doc Rivers said. "We didn't and that was great. We stayed locked in and focused. I think our guys knew they were playing a tired basketball team and if they could come out and make a good run to start the third quarter, they could put them away."
Atlanta, playing its fourth game in five nights, was indeed a tired team. The Hawks shot only 37 percent for the first three quarters.
"The Magic were a lot sharper, a lot quicker, a lot more explosive," Atlanta coach Lon Kruger said. "They are tough to play any night, but when they push the ball like they did tonight and have great spacing, they're a great team."
The Hawks were led by reserve Dion Glover's 18 points. Glenn Robinson, their leading scorer, had only 13 points on 6-of-20 shooting while being defended primarily by McGrady.
"For a quarter and a half, we just traded baskets with them," Rivers said. "Then we finally started playing defense in the last five minutes of the second quarter. We shut them down pretty good after that."
For the second game in a row, the Magic started their "Big Lineup" that includes McGrady, Miller and Grant Hill. Rivers said he intended to use the three for long minutes against Atlanta, but didn't get the chance because the game was a rout by middle of the third quarter.
"We were actually going to experiment with upping Grant (Hill's) minutes because the new theory is don't rest his ankle and he won't get so sore," Rivers said. "But that's OK, we'll have more chances to do it."
  • NOTES: Second-year guard Jeryl Sasser hit the first 3-pointer of his career at the start of the fourth quarter. He went on to score a career-high eight points. ... Magic coach Doc Rivers said he expects forward Horace Grant back for Monday's game against Boston. Grant hurt his knee in the season opener and hasn't played since. ... The Hawks have lost seven straight games in Orlando.
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