Atlanta (21-46) at Orlando (26-43)

Light Rain Currently: Orlando, FL
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 6:00 pm EST Sun Mar 26, 2006
  • TV: WPXA, SUN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

In what has been a trying season, the Orlando Magic look to continue their recent string of good play when they host the Atlanta Hawks.

The Magic have won two in a row and six of their last nine games following a 2-18 stretch from Jan. 27-March 6 that included six- and eight-game losing streaks.

The Magic haven’t won three straight since they won five in a row from Jan. 18-26.

Orlando beat Philadelphia 102-86 on Friday night, snapping a franchise-record 16-game road losing streak. Seven players scored in double figures and Orlando’s bench outscored Philadelphia’s reserves 50-28.

“I can’t say enough good things about the bench,” Orlando coach Brian Hill said. “I thought early in the game we lacked energy. Guys came in and picked it up for us; picked up our defensive intensity.

“It was basically the same thing in the second half. We got good shots and good offensive production from our bench.”

Dwight Howard also had another big game, with 15 points, 19 rebounds, five assists and four blocks. The top overall pick in the 2004 draft has six double-doubles in his last seven games and is shooting 58.2 percent in that span.

“He’s a great talent, he’s awesome,” said Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, who finished with 19 points and seven assists. “He’s only going to get better and that’s scary for the league.”

Orlando has won 10 of its last 11 home meetings with Atlanta.

Atlanta lost 98-83 to Dallas on Saturday night, the Hawks’ third straight loss and their seventh in the last eight games.

The Hawks shot only 35.2 percent from the field against Dallas, their worst shooting performance in 18 games.

“It seems like we’re trying to take too many jump shots,” said Al Harrington, who led Atlanta with 19 points. “If we’re missing, then it seems like teams are coming back and getting layups. We have to find a happy median.

“We have to try to get to the basket, try to get open shots and knock them down.”

Atlanta trailed by as many as 21 points against the Mavericks and were down by 16 at halftime.

Joe Johnson has scored only 46 points during the losing streak, more than five points below his season average of 20.4. Harrington has only 31 points the last two games on 12-for-29 shooting.

“We’re still running the same plays that got them off a month ago,” Hawks coach Mike Woodson said of Johnson and Harrington. “We kind of tinkered with our offense a little bit. The same things that they were scoring a month ago, we’re struggling with now. Maybe I need to change up a little bit offensively.”

Atlanta has lost five consecutive road games.

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