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- Hedo Turkoglu’s long and injury-ravaged season just got longer — or shorter actually — when the NBA suspended him Wednesday for 20 games for testing positive for methenolone, a steroid. The 33-year-old forward said he took the substance in Turkey last summer to help get over a shoulder injury, and insisted it was not to improve his performance. “It’s just a bad year for me, I guess, and I have to apologize especially to the DeVos family, to the Magic organization and all the fans throughout the world,” said Turkoglu, who has played only 189 minutes in 11 games this season. “I let everybody down with the decision I made in the summertime. I take full responsibility for that.”
- Comment of Magic coach Jacque Vaughn: “As a professional athlete, you have a responsibility to know what you put in your body at a rest stop, at a vitamin shop, or after you get a massage. It doesn’t matter.”
- For the Hawks, Anthony Tolliver will start for the fourth straight game in place of a sore Kyle Korver, although Korver did participate in shootaround and will play.
- The Hawks have beaten the Magic eight straight times, including twice this season, holding Orlando to only 79.4 points per game in those eight games. “I think we’ve zeroed in some things that they really like do and we’ve done a good job of defending them, but the last thing you want to do — I don’t care how many times you’ve had success against a team — is go into it overconfident, and that’s something I will not allow to happen with this ball club,” said coach Larry Drew. ” We have been a team that has shown we have not handled certain situations consistently, this being one of them.”
- Hawks lineup: Tolliver, Josh Smith, Al Horford, Devin Harris, Jeff Teague.
- Magic lineup: Maurice Harkless, Andrew Nicholson, Nikola Vucevic, Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson.
– Dick Scanlon