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Monday, March 20, 2006

Magic Lose By One In OT

From Sportsline.com:

Zaza Pachulia was outnumbered down low for most of the game. Still, the Atlanta Hawks' center put up the biggest numbers in the end.

Pachulia scored on a tip-in with 2.4 seconds left in overtime to help the Hawks snap a four-game losing streak with a 108-107 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

Pachulia, who ranks fourth in the NBA in offensive rebounds, set a career high with 18 boards, including 12 on the offensive end. The final one on the tip-in came after a missed layup by Joe Johnson, who scored 40 points for the Hawks.

"I thought Joe had that layup because he was kind of calm," Pachulia said. "Pretty soon I see three guys on him, and one of them was my guy. So I went up and when he missed I was behind to tip.

"If Joe scored, I would be just as happy," he said.

Forwards Al Harrington and Josh Smith start on the front line with Pachulia, a third-year player in his first season in Atlanta.

Harrington and Smith are athletic and versatile inside-outside scorers, but each is only 6-foot-9. The Magic countered with three players 6-foot-10 or taller: Dwight Howard, Tony Battie and Hedo Turkoglu.

Each of Orlando's big men scored in double figures, but Magic coach Brian Hill said the 6-foot-11 Pachulia "was the story of the game."

With the game on the line in the final seconds of overtime, Hill had a smaller lineup on the floor.

"It was a little bit of a mismatch," Hill said. "We had smaller guys and we couldn't keep them off the glass."


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