ATLANTA — In the Orlando Magic's postgame locker room Sunday night, Stan Van Gundy turned to his assistant coaches and asked a question. Should they take their players directly from Orlando International Airport to Amway Center upon arrival in Florida and shoot baskets until their teamwide shooting woes disappear?

Van Gundy was only half-joking.

An atrocious shooting slump, poor perimeter defense and a tendency to start games slowly has the Magic one loss away from elimination after they dropped Game 4 of their first-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks 88-85 Sunday night at Philips Arena.

Only eight teams in NBA history have accomplished what the Magic will try to do now: win a best-of-seven series after trailing three games to one. Dwight Howard boiled down the talk ahead to a simple message to his teammates.

"I just told 'em if they don't believe that we can still win, stay in Atlanta," Howard recalled.

"We've just got to keep believing, and guys have got to make shots, simple as that."

But making shots is anything but simple these days for the Magic.

They missed 21 of their 23 attempts from 3-point range Sunday. That abysmal performance lowered their 3-point percentage so far in these playoffs to just under 22 percent.

"I think mental toughness right now for us as much as physical toughness is huge," Van Gundy said. "It's gotten contagious now. Nobody makes a shot. I think it's taken the wind out of our sails a little bit. I think our guys are competing and battling."

Appropriately enough, Game 4 ended on a missed 3-pointer.

The Magic inbounded the ball to Gilbert Arenas with 10.5 seconds left, and Arenas swung the ball to Hedo Turkoglu. The Hawks' Al Horford knocked the ball away, and although Turkoglu recovered it, he had no choice but to take a desperation shot.

It clanged off the back left side of the rim, sending the announced crowd of 19,490 and the Hawks into a frenzy.

"We came into this series with the mindset that we were going to play confident regardless of the situation," said Atlanta guard Joe Johnson, who scored the Hawks' final 10 points. "We're just trying to ride the wave right now."

Game 5 is scheduled for 7:30 Tuesday night at Amway Center.

"We have to put everything into Tuesday night," Magic guard J.J. Redick said. "If we do that, then we can come back here and try to get a road win on them. That's really got to be our focus: take care of Tuesday night. Maximum effort."

In Game 4 Sunday, the Magic once again fell into an early deficit.

Howard picked up his second personal foul with 5:41 remaining in the first quarter, and the play immediately changed the tone of the game. He sat out the remainder of the quarter, and what had been only a three-point Hawks lead turned into an eight-point Hawks advantage.

Orlando didn't lead once all night, and Atlanta raced out to a 16-point advantage in the second quarter and a 13-point edge in the third quarter.

Gilbert Arenas and Howard helped bring the Magic back.