NBA Basketball
Scoreboard| Playoffs| Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions
122
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Orlando 28 32 31 31 122
Atlanta 31 26 21 25 103
103
12:00 PM PT1:00 PM MT2:00 PM CT3:00 PM ET20:00 GMT4:00 1:00 PM MST3:00 PM EST0:00 UAE (+1)21:0015:00 ET2:00 PM CTNaN:� , January 21, 2019
State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia  Attendance: 16,611

Magic visit Hawks with playoff hopes taking a hit

According to STATS
According to STATS

Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks

  1. The home team has won each of the last six games between the Magic and Hawks, who are meeting for the first of four times this season. All four games in last season's series were decided by seven or fewer points.
  2. The Magic have lost five straight road games, and eight of their last nine. For the season Orlando averages 101.5 points on 43.5 percent shooting in road games, both ranking 28th in NBA.
  3. The Hawks are allowing an NBA-high 117.7 points per game. That would be the most by any NBA team since the 1990-91 Nuggets (130.8), and the most by the franchise since the 1961-62 St. Louis Hawks (122.1).
  4. John Collins has raised his scoring average from 10.5 points per game as a rookie last season to 19.0 per game this season, the largest increase (+8.5) among NBA players to have played in at least half of their team's games both seasons.
  5. The Hawks are 11-10 (.524) this season when Trae Young makes at least a third of his three-pointers (33.3 percent), compared to 3-21 (.125) when he doesn't.
  6. Nikola Vucevic is averaging a career-high 20.3 points per game, to go along with 11.9 rebounds per contest. The only Magic players all-time to average 20 and 10 in a season are Shaquille O'Neal (four times) and Dwight Howard (four times).

The struggling Orlando Magic, trying to stick around in the Eastern Conference playoff race, visit the improving Atlanta Hawks in a holiday matinee Monday afternoon.

Dominating the season series could be a catalyst to a second-half surge as the Magic (19-27) and Hawks (14-31) will see each other four times between Monday and April 5.

Orlando began the season 10-10 but has been heading south in the playoff picture since then, going just 9-17. The Magic have lost three in a row -- including to Detroit and Brooklyn, teams they hope to catch in their quest to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

"We can't keep digging ourselves such a hole," veteran center Nikola Vucevic said after Saturday's 118-108 home loss to Milwaukee.

"This is it for us. Every game for us on the board is like a Game 7. We don't have any margin for error any more. This is it for us and this is our season. So we either show that we're built to do this or not. So we'll see how we all react."

The Magic put forth a competitive effort against the Bucks despite missing Aaron Gordon, who tweaked his back in Friday's loss to Brooklyn.

Orlando hopes to get Gordon back Monday.

The Magic not only need one of their best players back, but need him on top of his game. Gordon had 28 and 22 points when the Magic recorded back-to-back wins over Boston and Houston last week, the club's two more recent wins.

Gordon had scored 20 or more 12 times this season; the Magic has won nine of those games.

The Hawks have been getting that type of impactful play from forward John Collins of late. He put up 25 points in a win over Philadelphia last week, then went one better on a 26-point night in Tuesday's win over Oklahoma City.

Atlanta begins the week in 12th place in the East, one spot behind Orlando, but has been the better of the two of late, going 8-8 in its last 16 games, capped by the aforementioned impressive wins over the 76ers and Thunder.

Rookies Trae Young and Kevin Huerter have played big roles in the improved play, and in the past week DeAndre' Bembry has joined the productive crew, scoring in double figures in four straight, including 14 and 16 in the wins over the 76ers and Thunder.

Bembry has started the past seven games after having come off the bench in all but two of Atlanta's first 38 games.

A head-to-head assignment on Thunder standout Russell Westbrook on Tuesday helped convince Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce that the promotion has been deserved.

"I think it's important to play with confidence, play with swag, and to take a challenge like a guy like Russell Westbrook and to step up to compete and be able to perform on the offensive end as well," the coach expressed to reporters in the wake of the win. "That's who Dre is, and that's what he's done."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 20, 2019

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

NESN Shows

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties