ATLANTA – Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn challenged his players at halftime to tighten up defensively and force the Atlanta Hawks to take bad shots.
Arron Afflalo was pleased that everyone did as they were told.
“We got some fast-break layups and made some shots, but defense was the key,” Afflalo said. “It got us into a more free-flowing game, which helped us out.”
Afflalo scored 26 points, Victor Oladipo and Andrew Nicholson added 18 apiece and the Magic snapped a 17-game road losing streak with a 109-92 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday night.
Al Horford and Jeff Teague each finished with 15 points for the Hawks, who lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
“We had some careless turnovers, and I think that impacted the game in the third quarter,” Horford said. “After that, you have to give them credit. They made shots. A lot of them were tough shots, but they made them. They made a run, and we really couldn’t recover after that.”
The Magic began the night having lost four straight overall and five in a row on the road this season. They won away from Orlando for the first time since last March 4 at New Orleans.
Vaughn had planned to start Tobias Harris for the first time this season, but the third-year forward was unable to dress because of recurring issues with his left ankle.
Instead, Vaughn went with the lineup of Afflalo, OIadipo, Glen Davis, Nikola Vucevic and Jameer Nelson.
Vucevic grabbed 15 rebounds, Nelson added 10 assists, and the Magic got a combined 30 points from Nicholson and E’Twaun Moore off the bench.
The Hawks never led after Afflalo’s 3-pointer put the Magic ahead 67-65 with 5:09 left in the third.
From there, Orlando went on a 29-9 run. Afflalo’s 3 started the rally and Oladipo’s straightaway 3 ended it with 7:12 left in the game.
“We came into halftime in decent shape, but we made some shots in the second half which helped us,” Vaughn said. “Defensively, we were really aggressive to the basketball. We were locating shooters and we were in the right place. It was fun to see.”
Wizards 116, Lakers 111
In Washington, John Wall stayed hot with 31 points and nine assists and Nene had a career high 30 as the Wizards broke Los Angeles’ three-game winning streak.
Wall scored more than 30 points for the third straight game for the first time in his career, with his 13 fourth-quarter points coming in the final 4:40 to help Washington hold off Los Angeles. Wall was 10-for-18 from the field and made 11 of 12 free throws.
Nene surpassed his previous career best by two points on 13-for-22 shooting from the field. Martell Webster added 20 points with four 3-pointers.
Jordan Farmar led the Lakers with 22 and Pau Gasol had 17.
Nets 102, Raptors 100
In Toronto, Andray Blatche scored 24 points and Joe Johnson had 21 as Brooklyn snapped a five-game losing streak.
Paul Pierce scored 16 points and Kevin Garnett had 12 as the Nets won for the first time since beating Phoenix on Nov. 15.
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and Kyle Lowry had 21 for the Raptors, who lost a two-game winning streak.
Toronto’s Amir Johnson missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer from the corner in the final seconds.
Warriors 102, Pelicans 101
In New Orleans, Klay Thompson scored 22 points and tied a career high with eight assists as Golden State snapped a three-game skid by defeating New Orleans.
Eric Gordon had a chance to win it for the Pelicans with an open 3-pointer from the left corner in the final seconds, but the shot rimmed out and Anthony Davis couldn’t quite reach the rebound.
Jermaine O’Neal returned from right knee and groin injuries that had sidelined him for four games and did not look at all rusty, sinking his first seven shots en route to 18 points — including a clutch baseline hook with 2:06 left. David Lee added 19 points.
The Warriors’ Stephen Curry struggled to find his usual accuracy, missing 13 of 20 shots, but scored seven of his 16 points in a tight fourth quarter. Harrison Barnes added 14 points.