Dwight Howard had 33 points and 19 rebounds in his second straight dominant performance to help the Orlando Magic to a 88-82 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday that evened their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Howard was 9-of-12 from the field and made 15-of-19 free throws while playing all 48 minutes as fourth-seeded Orlando tied the series, 1-1. Howard had 46 points and 19 rebounds in the opener won by fifth-seeded Atlanta.
Jamal Crawford scored 25 points and Josh Smith added 17 for the Hawks, who host Game 3 on Friday.
Orlando led 78-66 after Jameer Nelson’s basket with 6:11 left but went more than four minutes without scoring. Atlanta took advantage with 10 consecutive points, pullin within 78-76 on Al Horford’s dunk with 2:14 remaining.
Hedo Turkoglu got the spinning roll on his drive to break the drought with 1:49 left and Jason Richardson followed with a 3-pointer to give the Magic an 83-76 lead with 1:08 to play.
Nelson added 13 points and eight rebounds for Orlando, which won despite shooting just 34.6 percent.
Joe Johnson scored 14 points for Atlanta, which shot 39.5 percent.
Orlando took an 11-point lead into the final quarter with a 10-1 finishing flourish to the third period that was capped by Turkoglu’s 3-pointer with 11 seconds left.
Atlanta led 32-22 early in the second quarter after Crawford’s 3-pointer before Orlando caught fire with a 12-2 run. The Magic ended the half with a 14-3 spurt to take a 48-42 halftime lead.