NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 1st (All times eastern)
Washington Wizards (4-17) at Orlando Magic (12-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic try to avoid a fifth straight loss this evening when they welcome the hapless Washington Wizards to Amway Center.
Orlando's latest loss came in Philadelphia on Monday, as the Magic dropped a 74-69 decision to the Sixers.
Dwight Howard led the way for Orlando with his 16th double-double this season, scoring 17 points with 11 boards. Ryan Anderson also had a double-double with 14 points and a season-high 20 rebounds but Orlando dropped its fourth straight.
"For whatever reason we are struggling. I don't want to make excuses," said Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, whose team played its sixth game in eight days. "I think we've identified some things (to fix) but we haven't had a lot of practice time."
The Sixers held the Magic to 33.3 percent shooting and forced 15 turnovers. Orlando, of course, was without its starting backcourt of Jameer Nelson (concussion) and Jason Richardson (rest) for the sixth time in eight nights, but still managed only nine points in the third quarter.
"It's easy to come up with the reasons," Van Gundy said for his team's poor play recently. "I could be a sportswriter doing that. I don't mean that even jokingly. ... It's always easy to find the reasons. That's not hard. The hard part is to solve it. To make it better."
Orlando will have a terrific opportunity to make it better tonight, as they face a Wizards team that is just 4-17 on the season and is coming off an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls on Monday.
Derrick Rose lit the Wiz up for 35 points in that one and Washington fell, 98-88.
John Wall scored 20 points, while Nick Young had 17 and JaVale McGee added 16 points with nine rebounds for Washington, which has dropped seven of nine.
The Wizards learned earlier that forward Andray Blatche is expected to miss between three and five weeks with a strained calf.
"Rose just had a hell of a game," said interim coach Randy Wittman. "He's a hell of a player. He made shots, from a man-to-man perspective, that there's nothing you can do (about)."
Washington has dropped seven straight to the Magic.
02/01 10:33:32 ET