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Orlando Magic falls in the Eastern Conference with a permanent loss

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ATLANTA – Trae Young scored 25 points, Lou Williams added 22 in his best game since returning to Atlanta and the aspiring Hawks retired in the closing stages for a 112-96 win over Orlando Magic Tuesday night.

The Hawks started the day by clinging to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, which would mean a home advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Atlanta won for the fifth time in six games, taking a step closer to its first postseason berth since 2017.

The Hawks took command in the second quarter, taking a lead over the Magic 28-13 in the final 7 minutes to build a 65-48 lead at halftime.

Clint Capela scored 12 of his 14 points during the run, Young added seven and Bogdan Bogdanovic knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.

Capela had another dominant game on the boards, ending with 19 rebounds.

Orlando was just under six in the third quarter before Atlanta clinched victory in the closing stages.

Williams was stunned by the trade date that brought him to Atlanta from the Los Angeles Clippers. He was even considering retiring after returning to a team he once played for and the city he grew up in.

After sitting out four games to ponder his options, Williams eventually joined the Hawks to take a hit from the bench. His performance against magic was what injured Atlanta had in mind.

Wendell Carter Jr. and Cole Anthony had 17 points apiece for Orlando, who lost nine out of ten.

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Janet Smith