(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks are coming off a .500 road trip and will
open a four-game homestand Saturday versus the Orlando Magic at Philips Arena.
The Hawks went to 2-2 on the recent trip, which came to a close in Friday's
118-107 loss at Boston. Mike Scott and Josh Smith ended with 19 and 18 points,
respectively, for the Hawks, who received 17 points from Jeff Teague.
"We had some breakdowns and we kept fighting, which was very encouraging,"
said Hawks coach Larry Drew.
Atlanta has alternated results in eight straight games.
Center Al Horford did not play because of an illness and will most likely
return Saturday since the playoff-bound Hawks can still improve their position
in the Eastern Conference standings. The Hawks, who are currently in the sixth
spot, are one-half game behind Chicago and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Celtics.
Atlanta will also host Cleveland, New York and Philadelphia, and is 22-13 in
front of the home crowd this season.
Orlando ended an eight-game slide Friday with a 97-92 victory over the
suddenly surging Washington Wizards behind a career-high 30 points and 11
rebounds from Tobias Harris. Moe Harkless had 18 points and nine boards.
E'Twaun Moore chipped in 15 points off the bench.
"Sometimes you can play a decoy and that will open the shots up for everyone,"
said Harris. "I thought that tonight we did a great job of setting our shots
up and moving the ball around."
The Magic will begin their final road trip of the season, a five-game junket
against Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Chicago and Cleveland. Orlando is 8-27
away from the Magic Kingdom.
In injury news for the Magic, guard Jameer Nelson (ankle) is doubtful Saturday
and had two points in less than nine points against Washington. Magic center
Nikola Vucevic (mild concussion) is expected to miss Saturday's game and
hasn't played since March 19 (5 games).
Orlando will try to avoid a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Hawks
and is winless in the last nine meetings. Atlanta is 10-1 in the past 11
matchups between the Southeast Division foes.
The Magic are winless in five straight trips to Philips Arena.
The Sports Network