Orlando At Atlanta
When: 7:30 PM
ET, Friday, February 27, 2015
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
The Atlanta Hawks raised their level of play on defense the last two games and look to continue the trend when the Orlando Magic visit on Friday. The Eastern Conference-leading Hawks allowed 86 points in a win over Milwaukee before beating Dallas 104-87 on Wednesday – giving up 53 in the final three quarters combined. “It feels good,” forward DeMarre Carroll told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “It feels like we are trusting each other. Guys have each others' back on the defensive end.”
The Magic split a pair against the Hawks this season and have shown improvement since James Borrego took over as interim coach, winning four of seven while allowing fewer than 100 points in all of them. Orlando must recover from letting an eight-point lead slip away in the final minute of a 93-90 overtime loss to Miami on Wednesday. Magic center Nikola Vucevic has averaged 25.8 points and 13.3 rebounds over the last four contests.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), SportSouth (Atlanta)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (19-40): Orlando could easily be 6-1 in its last seven, but gave away Wednesday’s game and the Feb. 8 contest against Chicago when it coughed up a six-point lead in the final 32 seconds. “It’s very disappointing,” Magic forward Tobias Harris told reporters Wednesday. “We had the game. In no way should we walk out of here with a loss tonight.” Harris is second behind Vucevic (19.9) on the team in scoring with 17 per contest while Victor Oladipo is contributing 16.6.
ABOUT THE HAWKS (45-12): Guard Dennis Schroder came off the bench to top everyone with 17 points in the victory over Dallas while the starting lineup displayed its usual balance and consistency. Along with a defense that stands third in points against per game (96.6), the Hawks have five players averaging in double figures between Paul Millsap’s 16.8 and Carroll’s 11.8. Jeff Teague (16.7 points, team-high 7.3 assists), Al Horford (15.3 points) and Kyle Korver (12.8) have taken turns coming up big.
1. Orlando G Willie Green is averaging 12.5 points and shooting 55.9 percent from the field over the last four games off the bench.
2. Korver leads the league in 3-point shooting percentage (50.6) and 171 makes from behind the arc through Wednesday’s games.
3. Magic F Aaron Gordon is questionable due to a sprained right ankle sustained Wednesday.
PREDICTION: Hawks 99, Magic 90
Stats and Records
Atlanta Off vs
102.9 Points For
101.2 Points Against