The Orlando Magic have struggled enough lately, losing 11 of their past 13 games entering Wednesday’s home contest with the Atlanta Hawks, so committing turnovers and losing their composure only makes winning more difficult. Such was the case Monday, when Orlando registered 20 turnovers and Marreese Speights’ flagrant foul helped send the Magic to a 104-94 loss at Charlotte.
“So that was definitely the turning point,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel told the media afterward in describing Speights’ foul. “But, if we don’t turn the ball over as much as we did, we don’t have to worry about that.” The Hawks also are finding wins hard to come by, following up Saturday’s impressive victory at Brooklyn with a 110-90 Monday drubbing at home by the Nets. The Hawks have won just five games on the season and are missing two frontcourt starters to injuries, and did not help their cause Monday by missing 17 of their first 18 second-half shots. “It just looked like we were a little bit short on some good looks,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters after the game. “Then we had some shots that just went in and out.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), FSN Florida (Orlando)
ABOUT THE HAWKS (5-18): Atlanta shot just 36.6 percent from the field in Monday’s loss as Dennis Schroder scored a team-high 19 points, and he is averaging 23.3 points in his past three games. Center Dewayne Dedmon and forward John Collins both are out with injuries, and starting center Miles Plumlee scored one point in 22 minutes against the Nets. The Hawks are fourth in the NBA in steals per game (9.1) and forced a season-high 24 turnovers Monday.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (10-15): Orlando plays seven of its next 12 at home after playing its 10th road game in the past 14 contests Monday. Evan Fournier led the Magic with 18 points Monday, and is averaging 17.6 points in his past five games on 37.5 percent shooting from 3-point range. Aaron Gordon is just 7-for-26 from the field in his past two games after scoring 40 and 29 points in his previous two contests.
1. The Hawks are 25th in the NBA in scoring defense at 108.6 points per game allowed, while the Magic are 28th at 111 entering Tuesday.
2. Orlando had just 14 free throws and Charlotte was awarded 40 in Monday’s contest.
3. The Magic are 5-5 at home, and 5-10 in road games.
PREDICTION: Magic 104, Hawks 98