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Magic at Hawks: Orlando tests itself against East's best

The Hawks look like title contenders. Can the Magic upset their Southeast rivals?

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Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic face a daunting challenge Friday when they visit the Atlanta Hawks, owners of the East's best record, in a battle between Southeast Division rivals.

Tipoff between Orlando and Atlanta is set for 7:30 PM. Fox Sports Florida and ESPN 580 AM will offer live coverage in the Orlando market.

Orlando's last time out: The Magic fell to the Miami Heat in crushing fashion Wednesday, squandering an eight-point lead with less than a minute to play in regulation, only to lose in overtime by a 93-90 final. Nik Vučević scored a game-high 26 points, and Victor Oladipo set a career-high with 13 rebounds to go with 13 points, but their efforts weren't enough in the end. Journeyman wing Henry Walker, playing on a 10-day contract, sank three-pointers on Miami's two final possessions to force overtime. He had missed each of his previous seven three-point tries.

Atlanta's last time out: The Hawks improved to 40-17 on Wednesday with a decisive 104-87 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. In true Atlanta fashion, six players scored between 11 and 17 points in a balanced effort, and tallied 28 assists on 39 field goals. The Hawks limited Dallas to 42.5 percent shooting.

More Hawks coverage: Peachtree Hoops

The last meeting: Way back in December, the Magic stunned the Hawks as Tobias Harris drained a long two-pointer, giving Orlando a 100-99 victory at Amway Center. In addition to capping the upset, that shot gave Harris a team-best 20 points on the night, to go with six rebounds, five assists, and three blocks, in one of his best all-around performances as a pro. The Magic withstood a 24-point, eight-assist, three-steal clinic from All-Star point guard Jeff Teague word.

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