Joe Johnson took control in the fourth quarter to finish off a 27-point effort, Josh Smith finished one assist shy of a triple-double and the host Atlanta Hawks ran away from the pesky but outmanned Milwaukee Bucks for a 96-86 victory in the Eastern Conference playoffs last night.
Again, the Hawks' balance and size advantage on the inside were just too much for the Bucks, who knew they'd face a huge challenge in this series after 7-foot center Andrew Bogut took a hard fall late in the regular season and was done for the playoffs.
The Hawks took care of business on their home court. They'll head to Milwaukee on Saturday night with a 2-0 lead.
All five Atlanta starters reached double figures for the second game in a row, and the two guys on the inside sure took advantage of Bogut's absence.
Smith had 21 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. Center Al Horford was nearly as dominant, scoring 20 points, snatching down 10 rebounds and blocking three shots. Magic's Howard top defender
Dwight Howard won his second straight NBA defensive player of the year award Tuesday after becoming the only player to lead the league in blocks and rebounds in the same season twice - let alone in consecutive years.
The Orlando Magic All-Star center received 576 total points, including 110 first-place votes from a panel of 122 writers and broadcasters. Atlanta's Josh Smith was second with 136 points, and Charlotte's Gerald Wallace finished third with 113 points.
Howard averaged 13.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks this season, powering the Magic to the league's second-best record behind Cleveland.
Blazers give Camby extension
Marcus Camby, 36, has signed a two-year contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. The 6-11, 235-pound center was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 16 for Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake.