(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic finally got the monkey off their back and
put to rest a season-high 12-game losing streak the last time out.
Can the Magic put together back-to-back wins for the first time since mid-
December? They will try Wednesday when the Southeast Division-rival Atlanta
Hawks pay a visit to Amway Center.
Orlando opened a three-game homestand with Sunday's 110-104 triumph over the
Portland Trail Blazers as J.J. Redick returned from a three-game absence
because of a shoulder injury and posted 22 points. Jameer Nelson contributed
10 points with a career-high 15 assists, while Nikola Vucevic added 17 points
and 19 rebounds for the Magic, who avoided their longest slide since a 13-game
drought from March 13-April 10, 2004.
"It was just a great team effort," said Vucevic. "We came out aggressive,
played hard on both ends of the court. On the offensive end, we really shared
the ball, looked for the extra pass, got great looks and knocked shots down."
Orlando shot 50.5 percent from the floor and outrebounded Portland, 50-38. It
also overcame a 21-10 hole, never trailed in the second half and won for only
the third time in the past 26 contests.
The Magic were able to end a five-game losing streak at home and improved to
9-17 in central Florida. They haven't won two in a row overall since a four-
game winning streak from Dec. 14-19 and will close out the residency versus
Charlotte after the All-Star break (Feb. 19).
Meanwhile, the Hawks haven't had as many losing issues as Orlando, but times
have been rough this season.
Atlanta, though, owns six wins in the last 10 games and recorded a 105-101
triumph at Dallas the last time out on Monday. Recent trade bait Josh Smith
scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Al Horford scored
21 points and pulled down 10 boards to aid Atlanta.
Smith buried 4-of-5 shots from 3-point range for the Hawks, who improved to
11-2 when Smith and Horford both have double-doubles. Smith has scored 20-plus
points five times in the last nine games.
"This was probably one of the biggest wins for us this year, coming into an
arena that is very tough to play in," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "For
the most part, we did an excellent job of executing our game plan and our
strategy of trying to keep them off balance as best we can."
Jeff Teague and Devin Harris ended with 20 and 15 points, respectively, for
the Hawks, who shot 51.9 percent (40-for-77) from the floor. Teague has scored
20 or more points in his last four games, averaging 21.8 ppg in that time.
The Hawks improved to 19-7 when scoring 100 or more points and won for just
the second time in their last 10 road games (11-13 overall). They are
scheduled to return home for two straight games versus Miami and Sacramento
after the All-Star break.
Atlanta has won the first two meetings with Orlando this season, eight
straight overall and nine of the past 10 in the series. The Hawks are unbeaten
in the last four trips to Amway Center and will host the Magic on March 30.
The Sports Network