National Basketball Association
Atlanta at Orlando
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 25, 2017
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
The Atlanta Hawks hope to wash away the bitter taste of a disappointing effort coming out of the All-Star break when they visit the struggling Orlando Magic on Saturday. The Hawks lost for the third time in four games Friday as they shot 38 percent from the field in a 108-90 setback against the red-hot Miami Heat, following a nine-day break.
Atlanta should have point guard and second-leading scorer Dennis Schroder (17.5 points, 6.3 assists) back in the lineup after the 23-year-old German was suspended one game for being late returning from the break. The Magic were quiet on trade deadline day and continued their free fall that night by coughing up a lead in Thursday’s 112-103 defeat against Portland - their sixth loss in seven games. “You’ve got to put together a complete game,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “But in certain situations, you’ve got to step on an opponent when you’ve got him down and you’ve got to make those plays when you’re up. … That’s been a problem with our organization, our franchise, our team.” Terrence Ross, acquired before the All-Star break in a deal for Serge Ibaka, scored 13 in his Magic debut Thursday.TV:
7 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), FSN Florida (Orlando)ABOUT THE HAWKS (32-25):
Paul Millsap scored 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting Friday while the rest of Atlanta’s starting lineup made just 11-of-36 from the field. Schroder was averaging 20.5 points in the last five games before the break and should provide a boost to a lineup along with forward Ersan Ilyasova, who scored nine points in his debut Friday after being acquired from Philadelphia on Thursday. Former Orlando standout Dwight Howard was held to four points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes against Miami after posting three double-doubles in his previous four games.ABOUT THE MAGIC (21-38):
Leading scorer Evan Fournier (16.8) poured in 20 against Portland - reaching that figure for the fifth time in nine games this month - but is shooting just 27.9 percent from 3-point range in February. Center Nikola Vucevic supplies 14.1 points and a team-best 10 rebounds per game after averaging 18 and 12, respectively, over the past three outings. Ross, who also had five rebounds Thursday, gives Orlando another scoring threat from the outside and former first-round pick guard Mario Hezonja averaged 9.7 point the last three contests.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Hawks have won the last two meetings by a combined 46 points and Howard is shooting 76 percent from the field against his former team in 2016-17.
2. Orlando C Bismack Biyombo scored in double figures just once in his last 10 games and is averaging 5.4 rebounds - almost two below his average - this month.
3. Atlanta F Thabo Sefolosha (groin) returned to the lineup Friday after missing nine games, scoring two points while grabbing four rebounds in 21 minutes.PREDICTION:
Magic 104, Hawks 98
Stats and Records