NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 14th
(All times Eastern)
Washington Wizards (33-31) at Orlando Magic (19-47), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - John Wall and the Washington Wizards will try to pick
themselves up from a two-game losing streak when they visit the Orlando Magic
Friday night at Amway Center.
The Wizards have lost back-to-back games since winning eight of nine games and
dropped a 98-85 decision to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. The game was
tight through the first three quarters until the Bobcats scored a 29-19
advantage in the final stanza.
"I thought they were more aggressive than we were all night, both ends of the
floor," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
Wall had 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting, Bradley Beal netted 18 and Marcin
Gortat contributed a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds for
Washington, who got just seven points from Trevor Ariza. Ariza, though, is
still averaging 18.0 points since the All-Star break (11 games).
Gortat is posting 16.1 points and 11.1 rebounds since the break.
Washington is back on the road where it has a 17-15 record this season and won
14 of the previous 21 games. Wall is posting an average of 18.7 points and 8.5
assists in that time, while the Wizards are scoring 102.7 ppg.
The Wizards are sixth in the East, just a half-game behind Brooklyn.
Orlando enters Friday's tilt with the Southeast-rival Wizards having lost four
in a row and five of the last six games.
In a 120-112 setback versus the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, Arron Afflalo
scored 24 points and Nikola Vucevic added 20 points and 16 rebounds. Jameer
Nelson scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, but it wasn't enough to
keep the Magic from falling to 15-17 as the host.
Denver outscored Orlando 54-40 down low and had a 52-38 advantage in rebounds.
The Nuggets erased a 40-27 deficit in the first half, led 52-50 at halftime
and had three players score 20 or more points (Kenneth Faried, 26, Wilson
Chandler, 21, J.J. Hickson, 20).
"Their bigs were really effective at getting the ball in the paint and
scoring," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said.
After the Magic host the Wizards, they will head west for four games against
Golden State, Phoenix, Utah and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Washington has beaten Orlando twice this season -- both games in D.C. -- and
the Southeast foes will clash again April 11 in central Florida. The Wizards
have struggled in Orlando lately, losing seven straight and 10 of 11 trips
Wall is averaging 21.5 points, 10.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds in two games
versus Orlando this season.
03/14 10:26:13 ET