ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks, who overcame a 20-point deficit in the final eight minutes at Houston in their previous game, didn’t have to worry about staging a comeback this time.
The Hawks led by 26 points at halftime and coasted to their 15th victory in the past 20 games, defeating the Orlando Magic 113-86 on Saturday night.
Tim Hardaway Jr., who sparked the Atlanta comeback against Houston with 23 of his career-best 33 points in the fourth quarter, scored 21 against the Magic.
“We just picked right up for we left off in Houston,” Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore said. “Tim’s our catalyst right now. He’s playing great.”
Paul Millsap also had 21 points before taking a seat for the fourth quarter with most of the other starters for the Hawks, which remain a half-game behind Washington in the Southeast Division.
Dennis Schroder had 17 points to go with 10 assists while Dwight Howard contributed 13 rebounds and 11 points for the Hawks. Malcolm Delaney had 12 points off the bench.
“We came out with a lot of energy and were sharing the ball,” Schroder said.
Orlando has lost 15 of its past 20 games and hasn’t won consecutive games since December.
Aaron Gordon scored 16 points for the Magic, who couldn’t follow up a home victory over Toronto on Friday. Orlando made just 7 of 27 3-point attempts and shot 35.1 percent overall, compared to 52.6 percent for Atlanta.
“It was a terrible defensive effort,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. “It’s disappointing. No other word to put on it.”
The Hawks, quickly up 13-4, led by 35-24 after the first quarter and outscored Orlando 30-15 in the second to go up 65-39 at halftime.
“We’d played last night and they jumped on us early,” Vogel said.
Atlanta, which made 13 of its, first 16 shots, hit 65.9 percent in the first half, making 7 of 14 3-point attempts, compared to 31.7 percent for the Magic.
“We’d been giving up a lot of points in the first quarter and we challenged ourselves to get off to a fast start,” said Hardaway.
The Hawks already had four players in double figures at the break, with Millsap scoring 14 points, Schroder 13, Hardaway 12 and Howard 10. Schroder also had eight first-half assists and Howard nine rebounds.
The Magic scored the first nine points of the third quarter, but the Hawks refused to wilt after a quick timeout and led 91-65 going into the final quarter.
The Magic haven’t won consecutive games since defeating the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 23 and Memphis on Dec. 26, both in Orlando.
NOTES: Hawks G/F Thabo Sefolosha missed his fourth straight game because of a left groin strain. … With Sefolosha out and F Mike Dunleavy bothered by a sore right knee, the Hawks recalled rookie F Taurean Prince from the NBA Development League after he scored 16 points in 22 minutes for Long Island on Friday against Greensboro. … The Magic and Hawks split their two earlier games, each winning on the road. The teams play at Orlando on Feb. 25 to end the season series. … The Hawks continue a three-game homestand against Utah on Monday and Denver on Wednesday before a three-game trip to the West Coast ahead of the All-Star Game. … The Magic play next at Houston on Tuesday.