The player on the Atlanta Hawks roster who had the most to prove against the Orlando Magic suddenly has confidence.

A year after shooting guard Joe Johnson performed poorly against the Magic in the playoffs, the Hawks' leading scorer opened the teams' first-round series this year by scoring a team-high 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting. He also dished out five assists.

"I was just trying to be aggressive," Johnson said Sunday. "And when I'm posting up, if Dwight [Howard] comes, then I'm looking for my guys to knock down shots. We did that in Game 1. So now in Game 2 we just kind of want to try and duplicate that."

Johnson made just under 30 percent of his shots from the field in last May's second-round loss to the Magic. Yet the Hawks re-signed him over the summer to a massive six-year deal worth about $120 million.

He played erratically during the regular season, suffering declines in points per game (18.2) and field-goal percentage (.443).

But in Saturday's playoff opener against the Magic, he exploited his height advantage over Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick to dazzling effect. He shot over Richardson and he attempted to test Redick, who was coming off of an injury, by forcing Redick to make sharp cuts.