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Vucevic leads Magic over Hawks 101-91

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) It might have been a little easier for the Orlando Magic on Sunday night if they could have made their shots.

Still, they got by with a big start from Nikola Vucevic to take an early lead and, despite shooting just 38.8 percent, held on for a 101-91 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

''It's important, late in the season, if your defense can win games for you. That's what happened tonight,'' Vucevic said. ''You're going to have games not shooting well, but you find other ways to win. You can do it with defense.''

Vucevic scored 17 of his 27 points in the first eight minutes of the game and added 20 rebounds. Aaron Gordon had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Magic, who remained a game behind Miami in the chase for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Wes Iwundu helped Orlando with a career-high 14 points, seven rebounds and two big blocks.

Trae Young led the Hawks with 20 points. Dewayne Dedmon had 10 points and 14 rebounds.

The Magic shot only 9 of 37 (24.3 percent) from 3-point range and the Hawks were even worse, going 8 for 35 (22.9 percent).

''We obviously didn't shoot the ball well, but we had good intensity. Our defense was very good tonight, and at this time of year that's critical,'' Magic coach Steve Clifford said. ''The free-throw game was so important tonight. If you look at numbers, that was the biggest stat in the game, the free-throw differential.''

The Magic made 26 of 33 free throws to Atlanta's 7 of 10.

Vucevic scored Orlando's first 13 points and sparked an early nine-point Magic lead. When the Hawks called timeout with 6:51 left in the first quarter, Vucevic had made six of eight shots while the other nine starters in the game were 2 of 16 from the field.

The Hawks never overcame the early nine-point deficit, but were down by only five points with two minutes left when Terrence Ross came up with a steal and fed D.J. Augustin for a short jumper.

''I think that's the reason our record (24-47) is the way it is; it could easily be flipped,'' Young said. ''We dig ourselves in holes and at the end of the game we're still in the game. We find a way to crawl back, but it takes so much energy out of us, we don't (have) enough to finish it out.''

After averaging 123.1 points in their first 12 games after the All-Star break, the Hawks compiled their lowest scoring output since a 106-91 loss to the New York Knicks on Feb. 14.

CARTER-WILLIAMS' MAGIC DEBUT

The Magic signed former lottery pick Michael Carter-Williams to a 10-day contract Friday and wasted no time getting him into a game. He scored five points, all from the foul line, in 16 minutes. ''I'm going to use him. That's why he was brought here,'' Clifford said. ''He's not going to play a lot of minutes, but he's in good enough shape.'' It is the sixth NBA stop for Carter-Williams, the 11th pick in the 2014 draft.

TIP-INS

Hawks: F John Collins, coming off five straight games of 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds, went to the bench with three fouls early in the second quarter and fouled out with 2:21 left in the game. ... The Hawks missed their first 11 3-point attempts.

Magic: The Magic entered the game shooting 18.84 free throws per games, the fewest in the NBA. ... F Jonathan Isaac went scoreless in 26 minutes. ... The Magic are 3-0 against the Hawks this season and 57-58 all-time.

UP NEXT

Hawks: Host Houston on Tuesday night.

Magic: Host New Orleans on Wednesday night.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Nikola Vucevic 0:00
  DeWayne Dedmon missed dunk 0:00
  Defensive rebound by Nikola Vucevic 0:02
  Taurean Waller-Prince missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:02
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:10
  Defensive rebound by Nikola Vucevic 0:32
+ 1 Evan Fournier made 1st of 2 free throws 0:39
  Personal foul on DeWayne Dedmon 0:39
+ 2 Taurean Waller-Prince made driving layup, assist by Kent Bazemore 0:46
+ 3 Evan Fournier made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nikola Vucevic 0:53
+ 2 Kent Bazemore made layup, assist by Vince Carter 1:05
Team Stats
Points 91 101
Field Goals 38-91 (41.8%) 33-85 (38.8%)
3-Pointers 8-35 (22.9%) 9-37 (24.3%)
Free Throws 7-10 (70.0%) 26-33 (78.8%)
Total Rebounds 53 62
Offensive 8 10
Defensive 42 45
Team 3 7
Assists 20 21
Steals 8 12
Blocks 3 3
Turnovers 18 14
Fouls 29 15
Technicals 0 1
20 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST
27 PTS, 20 REB, 3 AST
1234T
away team logo Hawks 24-47 2521222391
home team logo Magic 33-38 28281926101
Team Stats
away team logo Hawks 24-47 112.3 PPG 46 RPG 25.7 APG
home team logo Magic 33-38 105.7 PPG 45 RPG 25.0 APG
Key Players
T. Young PG 18.5 PPG 3.6 RPG 7.8 APG 41.6 FG%
N. Vucevic C 20.7 PPG 12.1 RPG 3.9 APG 52.2 FG%
Top Scorers
T. Young PG 20 PTS 6 REB 5 AST
N. Vucevic C 27 PTS 20 REB 3 AST
41.8 FG% 38.8
22.9 3PT FG% 24.3
70.0 FT% 78.8
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Young 20 6 5 9/18 0/5 2/3 3 32 1 0 2 0 6 -18 35
D. Dedmon 10 14 2 4/10 2/6 0/0 5 24 2 0 2 3 11 -18 28
J. Collins 10 7 1 5/9 0/1 0/0 6 20 0 1 1 3 4 -6 19
T. Waller-Prince 9 3 2 4/11 1/5 0/0 4 28 1 0 5 0 3 -7 12
K. Huerter 3 3 0 1/7 1/3 0/0 3 22 0 1 2 0 3 -16 5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Young 20 6 5 9/18 0/5 2/3 3 32 1 0 2 0 6 -18 35
D. Dedmon 10 14 2 4/10 2/6 0/0 5 24 2 0 2 3 11 -18 28
J. Collins 10 7 1 5/9 0/1 0/0 6 20 0 1 1 3 4 -6 19
T. Waller-Prince 9 3 2 4/11 1/5 0/0 4 28 1 0 5 0 3 -7 12
K. Huerter 3 3 0 1/7 1/3 0/0 3 22 0 1 2 0 3 -16 5
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
A. Len 13 3 1 5/8 1/3 2/2 1 24 0 1 1 0 3 +2 18
V. Carter 8 0 3 3/8 2/6 0/0 1 26 2 0 0 0 0 +2 16
D. Bembry 8 3 3 4/9 0/1 0/0 3 20 1 0 2 2 1 +3 16
K. Bazemore 5 8 2 1/6 0/2 3/4 1 25 1 0 2 0 8 0 16
J. Adams 5 3 1 2/5 1/3 0/1 2 15 0 0 1 0 3 +8 9
M. Plumlee - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Zeller - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Anderson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Poythress - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
O. Spellman - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 91 50 20 38/91 8/35 7/10 29 236 8 3 18 8 42 -50 174
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Vucevic 27 20 3 10/20 0/3 7/7 2 34 3 0 2 4 16 +6 54
A. Gordon 22 8 3 9/16 3/6 1/2 1 38 1 0 2 2 6 +13 35
D. Augustin 11 2 9 4/10 2/4 1/1 3 32 2 0 1 0 2 +10 32
E. Fournier 11 4 4 4/12 1/6 2/2 3 29 1 0 2 0 4 +18 22
J. Isaac 0 3 0 0/7 0/6 0/0 1 26 1 1 1 0 3 +6 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Vucevic 27 20 3 10/20 0/3 7/7 2 34 3 0 2 4 16 +6 54
A. Gordon 22 8 3 9/16 3/6 1/2 1 38 1 0 2 2 6 +13 35
D. Augustin 11 2 9 4/10 2/4 1/1 3 32 2 0 1 0 2 +10 32
E. Fournier 11 4 4 4/12 1/6 2/2 3 29 1 0 2 0 4 +18 22
J. Isaac 0 3 0 0/7 0/6 0/0 1 26 1 1 1 0 3 +6 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
W. Iwundu 14 7 0 3/7 2/4 6/8 0 25 1 2 0 4 3 -9 24
T. Ross 6 4 1 2/8 1/6 1/1 1 24 3 0 5 0 4 +2 10
M. Carter-Williams 5 4 1 0/3 0/2 5/8 3 15 0 0 0 0 4 0 11
K. Birch 5 3 0 1/2 0/0 3/4 1 13 0 0 1 0 3 +4 7
T. Mozgov - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Grant - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Jefferson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Caupain - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Martin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Briscoe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Frazier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Fultz - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Bamba - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 101 55 21 33/85 9/37 26/33 15 236 12 3 14 10 45 +50 199