Joe Johnson had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Jamal Crawford scored 19 points as the Atlanta Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with an 84-81 victory over the visiting Orlando Magic on Thursday.
Josh Smith blocked Jason Richardson’s last-second 3-point attempt as fifth-seeded Atlanta won the first-round series in six games. The Hawks move on to face the top-seeded Chicago Bulls.
Fourth-seeded Orlando had two chances to tie in the final seconds. J.J. Redick missed a wide-open 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left before Smith blocked Richardson’s last-gasp shot.
Dwight Howard had 25 points and 15 rebounds for Orlando, which failed to advance past the first round for the first time since 2007.
The Magic were within 82-81 with 34.3 seconds left after back-to-back layups by Jameer Nelson. Atlanta's Marvin Williams missed a 3-pointer, byut the Hawks rebounded and Crawford hit two free throws with 8.2 seconds left to give Atlanta a three-point lead.
The Magic trailed 76-66 with 7:01 to play before rolling off eight straight points, pulling within two on Ryan Anderson’s 3-pointer with 4:41 remaining.
The Hawks hit four consecutive 3-pointers to start the final quarter – two by Crawford and one each by Johnson and Williams – to open a 74-64 lead with 7:47 remaining.
Hedo Turkoglu scored 15 points for Orlando, which was outrebounded, 38-31.
Winning the series was sweet revenge for the Hawks, who were swept by the Magic in the second round last season by a record 101 points.