The Magic, who will miss the playoffs after three straight appearances, must win twice in their last six games to avoid their worst finish since going 18-64 in their inaugural 1989-90 season.
That could be tough to do without injured star Tracy McGrady, the NBA’s leading scorer who is out for the season with left knee tendinitis.
Without McGrady on Wednesday, the Magic lost 109-91 to the visiting Chicago Bulls in a matchup of teams with the league’s worst records. Orlando has dropped nine consecutive games, its longest skid since losing a franchise-record 19 straight to start the season.
“It’s been a long and disappointing year for all of us, but you still have to finish the games and you still have to come out and compete to the best of your ability no matter what the circumstances are and that’s what I expect,” Magic coach Johnny Davis said. “You have to play with pride.”
Orlando averages 95.0 points per game, but scored 103.3 per contest in the three wins against Atlanta this season. McGrady averaged 29.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.3 steals in those games.
The Hawks haven’t been swept by the Magic since the 1999-00 season, but have lost their last eight visits to Orlando and are 8-20 there.
The Hawks, who will miss the postseason for the fifth straight season, lost 100-97 at home to Miami on Wednesday. The defeat was Atlanta’s second in a row after putting together only its second two-game winning streak of the season.
Jackson is averaging 28 points in his last three games, while Crawford has scored 17.6 over his last 19 contests—nearly 10 more than his season average.
Crawford is shooting 56 percent (18-for-32) against the Magic this season and averaging 21 points.