Archives For Nikola Vucevic

The Atlanta Hawks dropped their second consecutive game against the Orlando Magic in a heartbreaker at Philips Arena — 116-110 in overtime. The loss ties up the season series between the two at 2-2, after the Hawks won the first two fixtures.

A 20 point lead blown

The Hawks started this game off so well — it was the kind of first quarter response you would expected from a team who were beaten the night before on a buzzer beating shot. The Hawks came roaring out of the gate and took the Magic by storm — building up a 20 point lead with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter. It felt like this was going to be a classic revenge game, but the Magic never gave up. Jason Smith checked into the game and kept the Magic in striking distance, as he knocked down five of his seven shots in the first half for 10 points.

After the Magic had trimmed the Hawks’ lead to 13 by half time, the Hawks quickly stretched the lead back to 18 in the third quarter. But the Magic, once again, refused to to go down without a fight. Nikola Vucevic (who only scored three points in the first half on 1-of-4 shooting) exploded in the third quarter for 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting, and the Hawks’ lead heading into the fourth quarter stood at 11 points.

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The Hawks suffered a heart-breaker on Super Bowl Sunday, losing 96-94 to the Magic on a buzzer-beater by Nikola Vucevic. Just a day later, the Hawks would get another shot at Orlando, but this time at home in a game that you would figure would favor the Hawks.

Well, it didn’t.

The Hawks opened the game looking like they were ready to run the Magic out of the building, starting up with a 26-8 run. 3-pointers were falling, the defense was swarming, and Atlanta simply looked like the team that won 60 games in the 2014-15 season. What happened after was a gradual and slow-burn collapse that saw the Magic finally take the lead in the final minutes of regulation, and eventually the victory in overtime.

“I think we’ve got to be better late in games,” said an exasperated Mike Budenholzer. “Myself, the players, everybody; we’ve got to be better.”

The collapse started on the defensive end in the second half, as the Hawks gave up 60 total points in the third and fourth quarters. The Magic particularly killed the Hawks on the inside, with a 12-for-18 shooting performance in the paint for the half. The inside game was compliment with outside shooting, as Vucevic knocked down the mid-range shots, and the rest of the team complemented with timely 3-pointers. Continue Reading…

Hawks Outlast the Magic

Bo Churney —  February 28, 2015

This looked like it was going to be a blowout and quite honestly, this game should have been a blowout.

The Hawks were leading 21-5 early in the first quarter and were firing on on cylinders. Paul Millsap had 11 quick points, hitting three 3-pointers in about a one minute span in the opening minutes. Everyone was passing well and flying around on defense. Even as the Magic started to pick up their own pace, the Hawks still maintained a double-digit lead into the second quarter.

And that is where the wheels nearly fell off the wagon.

The Hawks’ second quarter can best be defined as a disaster, as the Magic outscored Atlanta 29-14 over the 12-minute frame. The Hawks shot 5-for-19 from the field in the quarter and turned the ball over 11 times. 11! The Magic, to their credit, were doing a good job at forcing the sloppiness and they capitalized off of Atlanta woes by shooting 50% for the quarter, including hitting four 3-pointers.

Whatever Coach Budenholzer said at halftime worked, as the Hawks only turned the ball over one time in the third quarter as they regained control of the game. The ball movement was crisp and the team countered the 11 turnovers from the previous quarter with 11 assists in the third. Jeff Teague, who was 0-for-6 from the field in the first half, also finally got his motor running, going 4-for-4 from the field for nine points as he was finally able to capitalize on opportunities in the lane. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Magic 109, Hawks 102

Bo Churney —  December 29, 2013

FINAL

ORL(10-20) 109 – 102 (17-14) ATL

Key Performers:
N. Vucevic (ORL): 16 pts, 14 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl
J. Teague (ATL): 22 pts, 3 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

After playing three straight overtime games and being on the second night of a back-to-back, the Hawks’ legs finally gave out a bit. They were a bit slower and Orlando was able to take advantage with their young core of Afflalo, Vucevic, and Oladipo. The Magic outscored the Hawks 46-26 in the paint and out-assisted the Hawks 30-20, which is one of the few times the Hawks have been beat in that department this season.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Another great night from the line by Millsap (8-for-10), but he wasn’t that good from the field (4-for-14) or from behind the arc (1-for-6). He also had four turnovers. This might be a common theme throughout the recap, but Paul simply looked a bit tired, which after the what’s been thrown at the Hawks this week, that’s not too surprising. 6/10

Jeff Teague: Teague probably had the most consistent night of all the Hawks, posting the solid 22 and 8 line that you see above. His jumper is finally regaining its form and he had some very nice takes to the basket. The only thing that was wrong with Jeff is that he was running pick-and-rolls with Elton Brand and Pero Antic instead of Al Horford. 9/10

Elton Brand: Not much from Elton tonight. He did have seven points on four shots, but he did not protect the rim as well as the Hawks probably needed him to. He played 19 minutes last night and 14 tonight, so tired legs should not have been a huge problem, but they looked a bit like it for the 34 year old. 4/10

Lou Williams: He got the start because of DeMarre Carroll’s injury and Lou had no issue with putting the rock up. 18 points on 16 shots is not the best, and I’m not sure how I feel about Lou taking 11 3-pointers. Sure, he made four, which would be a league-average percentage, but Lou is better when he is attacking and getting to the free-throw line. 6/10

Kyle Korver: Like Tolliver last night, Arron Afflalo did a good job at staying close to Korver wherever he went. Kyle did extend his 3-point streak to 100 games in the second quarter, but he only took five total shots in the game, which is a huge credit to how Orlando was able to play him. 6/10 Continue Reading…