The Orlando Magic were staring another defeat in the face when the ball suddenly dropped into the hands of Bo Outlaw.
Outlaw's jumper in the lane with 1.1 second remaining capped a 23-point, 17-rebound performance and gave the Magic a 91-90 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
The game-winning shot came after Atlanta's Mookie Blaylock blocked Mark Price's off-balance jumper and Outlaw retrieved the loose ball just in front of the free-throw line.
The Orlando forward attributed his good fortune to Atlanta double-teaming Price and as the Hawks did much of the night leaving Outlaw to roam free near the basket.
"That's basically what happened," Outlaw explained. "My man kind of halfway doubled on Mark. ... Once he did that, I looked back to see if Mark was going to shoot it or pass it. He shot, and the guy deflected it right to me."
The Magic squandered an eight-point lead in the last two minutes of a loss to Phoenix on Saturday, but held on this time when Blaylock's desperation shot glanced off the backboard at the buzzer.
"It was like deja vu," Orlando's Penny Hardaway said. "You're thinking, `Don't let it happen again.' We need to get better at executing down the stretch."
Price and Rony Seikaly each scored 12 points for Orlando, which won for only the second time in its last 10 games. Steve Smith led Atlanta with 18, including a pair of free throws that trimmed the Magic's lead to 89-88. Blaylock had 15 points, nine assists and eight steals.
The Hawks led 50-48 at halftime, wiping out most of a 12-point deficit with a 10-0 run led by Alan Henderson, who scored 11 in the period, and Blaylock, who had six of his steals in the first half.
Hardaway, meanwhile, continued to struggle offensively in his comeback from a two-month stay on the injured list because of a torn ligament in his left knee. He had nine points on 3-for-11 shooting in 27 minutes.
Hardaway, voted as an Eastern Conference starter in the All-Star game, was just 6-of-26 from the field in the Magic's previous two games. He was 2-of-7 in the first half Tuesday night, then sat out most of the third quarter.
Hardaway missed his first two shots of the second half, but made a 3-pointer to finish a burst that put the Magic up 76-69 with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Tyrone Corbin, whose last basket gave Atlanta a 90-89 lead with 7.7 seconds left, and Christian Laettner each scored 14 for the Hawks, who have lost seven of their last nine games.
"It's tough because we put such an effort into it," said Atlanta coach Lenny Wilkens. "I can't fault our effort. ... We made a big shot at the end. And we made a big defensive play, but just blocked the ball right to one of their players."
Notes: Hardaway came off the bench for the third straight time since returning from his stint on the injured list. They are the only games in his five-year career that did not start. ... The Hawks, who lost at iami on Monday night, are 9-7 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 8-8 on the second night. ... Atlanta is 17-20 since opening the season with 11 consecutive victories.
Written by Freg Goodall AP Sports Writer