Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 3/30/13
Game time: 7 p.m. TV: FOX Sports Florida (pregame at 6:30 p.m. Despite their recent inconsistency, the Atlanta Hawks are still in contention for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage for a first-round playoff series. To make a significant push, the Hawks will likely need to capitalize on a seemingly favorable homestand that begins Saturday night against the lowly Orlando Magic. Atlanta (40-33) has alternated losses and wins in its last eight contests but remains just 2 12 games back of fourth-place Brooklyn in the East. The Hawks would appear to have an opportunity to cut that deficit during a set of four straight home games that features only one opponent in playoff contention. In the opener to that homestand, Atlanta will try to earn its 10th straight win over Orlando (19-54) and its sixth in a row at home. The Hawks blew out the Magic 108-76 in the most recent meeting Feb. 13, as Josh Smith scored 30 and Al Horford added 26, one of his 31 consecutive games in double figures. Horford sat out Friday's visit to Boston with an illness and Smith missed 16 of 23 shots - including all six in the second half - in a 118-107 loss. Despite his shooting woes, Smith finished with 18 points in the finale of a four-game trip, and rookie Mike Scott had a career-high 19 off the bench. "We had some breakdowns and we kept fighting, which was very encouraging," coach Larry Drew said. Horford's status is unknown for this game and the Hawks have also been playing without Devin Harris (foot) and Zaza Pachulia (Achilles). Reserve guard John Jenkins left Friday's game with a concussion. If the Hawks are short-handed again, the Magic will try to take advantage and as they look to win back-to-back games for the first time in about 3 12 months. Orlando snapped an eight-game skid Friday as Tobias Harris had a career-high 30 points and 11 rebounds in a 97-92 victory over Washington. Harris hit a key shot with 1:22 remaining and went three of four from the free-throw line in the final 14 seconds. The second-year forward was joined in the starting lineup along with three rookies - Maurice Harkless, Kyle O'Quinn and DeQuan Jones - as the eliminated Magic continue to look toward next season. The only veteran starter, point guard Jameer Nelson, left in the first quarter after spraining his ankle and did not return. "This was just a great effort by every player who stepped on the floor," coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We've been through a lot of games like this and lost, but tonight, we made free throws, we executed our offense and when we didn't make shots, we defended. That gave us a chance to stay in the game." The Magic, losers in 41 of 48, haven't earned back-to-back wins since a season-high four-game streak Dec. 14-19, but they've dropped six straight on the road and 20 of 23 since Dec. 20.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Jones sets deadline for decision on Tony Romo’s future with Cowboys

Jason Kidd believes Isaiah Thomas is in NBA MVP race

Kyrie Irving takes blame for Cavs’ recent skid: ‘I need to demand more out of myself’

Ichiro Suzuki wants to play until age 50

Minute Maid Park doesn’t look the same without Tal’s Hill

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Six NFL teams have not renewed their daily fantasy deals

A Chicago Bulls and Jimmer Fredette reunion makes sense

Cardinals may look at a veteran to ultimately replace Carson Palmer

Ottawa Senators visit sick teen during road trip to Minnesota

Adrian Peterson works out with Jameis Winston, gets Dirk Koetter’s attention

Report: Martavis Bryant reinstatement ‘imminent’

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

Box Score 3/29: Free hats (Caps fans only)

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

Box Score 3/28: Wilt's last game

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker