NBA Game Preview - Magic v Hawks

 
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130
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Orlando 23 41 39 27 130
Atlanta 27 37 31 25 120
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4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CT23:30 , February 26, 2020
State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia  Attendance: 14,967

Magic look to solve Hawks

According to STATS
According to STATS

Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks

  1. The Magic picked up a 115-113 victory at Brooklyn on Monday moving to 12-0 this season when scoring 115+ points. Every other team in the NBA has at least one loss this season when scoring 115+ points.
  2. The Hawks are allowing an average of 120.9 points per game since January 1, the highest mark in the NBA over that time. Atlanta has allowed at least 120 points in a game 32 times this season, five more than any other team in the NBA (Wizards -- 27).
  3. Trae Young has scored 40+ points in a game 10 times this season, tying Bob Pettit in 1961-62 for the second-most 40-point games in a single season in franchise history. The only Hawk with more 40-point games in a single season is Dominique Wilkins with 15 in 1987-88.
  4. Aaron Gordon is averaging 19.3 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in February, both on pace to be the best marks in any month for Gordon this season. Gordon scored 27 points last game against Brooklyn -- the Magic are 4-0 this season when Gordon scores at least 25 points.
  5. John Collins is averaging 20.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game this season. He is on pace to be the first Hawk to average 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in a single season since Moses Malone averaged 20.2 points and 11.8 rebounds in 1988-89 (min. 50 percent of team games played).
  6. The Magic scored a season-high 135 points in a 135-126 win over the Hawks when these teams last met on February 10. Orlando scored 79 points after halftime in that game, the third most in a second half in team history and most since January 26, 1994 (81 points).

Orlando's chances of reaching the playoffs hinge on beating bottom-tier teams such as the Atlanta Hawks, whom the Magic visit on Wednesday.

The Magic (25-32) have a 4.5-game lead over Washington for the eighth playoff spot in the NBA's Eastern Conference. A victory over Atlanta (17-42) would help Orlando continue an upward trend that includes winning three of their past four, including a 115-113 triumph over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.

Orlando overcame a 19-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Nets.

However, Atlanta has won two of three games against Orlando this season. The Hawks won 103-99 on Oct. 26 behind Trae Young's 39 points, then beat the Magic 101-93 on Dec. 30 when G League product Brandon Goodwin came off the bench to score 21 points in 22 minutes. Orlando earned a 135-126 win on Feb. 10 when Aaron Gordon scored 26 and the Magic sank a season-high 18 3-pointers.

This will be the final meeting between the teams this season.

"We're in the hunt, so (the Brooklyn victory) was a good win to get for us," Gordon said. "I feel like we've let go of a lot of games and now it's time to get a hold of them."

Orlando coach Steve Clifford agreed.

"Every team in our league will have really good wins this year," Clifford said. "This was a really good win and we'll see what we make of it."

It won't be easy. Besides Atlanta's success against Orlando this season, the Hawks have won six of their past seven home games.

The young Atlanta team has coalesced around Young, who averages 29.9 points and 9.2 rebounds. Young scored 28 points, rookie De'Andre Hunter had 22 and John Collins added 21 in Monday's 129-112 loss at Philadelphia.

The Hawks also have watched rookie Cam Reddish blossom into a reliable contributor, who provides quickness and defense at forward while developing into a solid offensive piece.

"His mentality is tough," Young said about Reddish. "I love his attack mindset."

Orlando has multiple options that cause problems for Atlanta. Gordon, Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic all have had their moments against the Hawks this season. Against Atlanta this season, Gordon in averaging 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, Fournier is averaging 22.3 points and Vucevic 22.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Gordon had 27 points and 10 rebounds -- and a crucial block in the final seconds -- against the Nets on Monday. It was Gordon's 15th double-double, and he has led or tied for the team scoring lead in nine games. Vucevic had 16 points and 10 rebounds and has a team-leading 29 double-doubles.

Orlando's Jonathan Isaac, who has been out with a left knee injury since Jan. 1, is feeling better and traveling with the team. He shot free throws Monday, but there is no timetable for his return.

Atlanta also awaits the availability of the two centers acquired at the trade deadline. No date has been set for the return of Clint Capela (right heel) and Skal Labissiere (left knee).

--Field Level Media

Updated February 25, 2020

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