Orlando lost its second straight game and third in a row on its home court on Wednesday, falling 105-97 to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Tracy McGrady, the NBA’s leading scorer, battled a back injury to score 20 of his 31 points after halftime, but the Magic were outscored 54-45 in the second half.
“Every time I sit down and get up, it’s the worst pain,” said McGrady, 11-for-27 from the field and 5-of-15 on 3-pointers. “It takes me a while to get loose and get going. Once I start running, I’m fine.”
“We had opportunities going into the fourth quarter. We made a game of it, but not enough to get the win,” Magic coach Johnny Davis said. ”(McGrady) was not at his best and when he’s not playing at his best, it becomes even more difficult for us.”
Orlando has lost 22 of its 30 home games this season, but the Magic have had success against Atlanta at the TD Waterhouse Centre.
The Magic are 19-8 all-time against the Hawks at home, and have won seven straight in the series in Orlando since a 114-110 loss on March 8, 1999.
The Hawks come into this contest with three losses in their last four games after suffering a 112-80 road defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.
Stephen Jackson led Atlanta with 20 points and Jason Terry had 15 for the Hawks, who trailed by 17 points after one quarter, 22 at half, 25 at the end of three and 40 in the fourth en route to their fifth straight road loss.
“This is miserable,” Hawks coach Terry Stotts said. “I hate sitting on the sideline down by 30.”
The Magic and Hawks conclude their season series in Orlando on April 2.