NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 29th (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (17-13) at Orlando Magic (9-20), 6 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks began life sans Al Horford with a win and look to keep the momentum going Sunday against the Southeast Division- rival Orlando Magic at Amway Center.
Horford suffered a tear to his right pectoral muscle in a close win at Cleveland on Thursday and was on fire his last four games, scoring 20 or more points in each and grabbing eight-plus rebounds in three contests. He is out indefinitely for the Hawks, winners in eight of the last 11 games.
Paul Millsap picked up the slack in Saturday's 118-116 overtime victory versus Charlotte and finished with 33 points and 13 rebounds. Lou Williams came off the bench to score 28 points, while Jeff Teague and Mike Scott tallied 20 and 18 points, respectively.
"I'm just proud of our guys," Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer said after his team's third straight overtime game (2-1). "Our guys found a way to win a game tonight. We feel fortunate but we're also proud."
The Hawks, who have scored 100-plus points in eight straight games, made six 3-pointers to force overtime and outscored the Bobcats, 17-15, in the extra period.
Kyle Korver made 2-of-6 3-pointers for eight points and has hit at least one shot from beyond the arc in an NBA-record 99 straight games.
Atlanta is 5-9 on the road as opposed to a 12-4 home mark and will visit Boston New Year's Eve at TD Garden.
Orlando will resume its six-game homestand and improved to 1-3 on the residency with Friday's 109-92 victory over Detroit. The Magic ended a three- game slide and won for the third time in 14 tries behind 23 points from Arron Afflalo and 20 points and 11 rebounds by Nikola Vucevic.
Rookie Victor Oladipo chipped in 16 points and 11 assists off the bench and Tobias Harris also scored 16 points for Orlando, which is 6-9 at home and shot 52.9 percent from the field.
"I was just being patient, really, keeping my head up coming off ball screens and just reading what the defense gave me," Oladipo said. "I was just playing with a great pace and I just got to be consistent with it."
Afflalo has scored 20 or more points 16 times this season and is averaging a team-best 22.0 ppg this season. However, he is questionable Sunday with a sprained left ankle suffered in the win over the Pistons.
The Magic will close out the homestand Tuesday versus Golden State and have split two meetings with Atlanta this season. Both games were at Philips Arena, where the Magic snapped an 11-game slide in this series on Nov. 26 in a 109-92 triumph. The Hawks are 12-2 in the last 14 games in this series and unbeaten in the past five trips to the Magic Kingdom.
12/29 10:23:05 ET