Magic at Bobcats
The Orlando Magic ended an impressive winning streak Friday by beating the Golden State Warriors. On Saturday, they will try to extend another streak when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats, who have dropped 10 in a row. The Magic will head to Charlotte after ending Golden State's run of five straight road victories with a 99-85 win.
Charlotte has matched last year's win total but has not won since a double-overtime victory at Washington three weeks ago. The Bobcats have allowed over 100 points in nine of those games and over 110 five times. The latest loss was a 113-90 setback in Atlanta where Charlotte allowed the Hawks to shoot 57 percent from the field.
TV: 7:30 p.m ET, Fox Sports Florida (Orlando), Sportssouth (Charlotte)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (9-13): Probably the biggest key to Orlando's win was a strong first quarter. The Magic have not scored more than 20 points in five straight games, but they limited the Warriors to 14 points, blocked seven shots and held them to 21 percent shooting in the opening quarter. Orlando's rookie class also made solid contributions Friday night as Andrew Nicholson collected 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks while Maurice Harkless chipped in seven points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Also helping the Magic get the win was one of their best 3-point shooting performances of the season. Orlando entered shooting 32.6 percent, but went 9-for-21 3-pointers as J.J. Redick knocked down four en route to 16 points.
ABOUT THE BOBCATS (7-15): There has been little signs during this skid that anyone on Charlotte is capable of being a defensive stopper. The Bobcats' latest loss saw them give up four of the first five baskets at the rim and allow 30 points in the first quarter for the fourth time in five games. "When you give up 30 points right off the bat, it’s awfully hard to get back in the game,” rookie shooting guard Jeffery Taylor said. “We’ve got to stop doing that. I know we’re a young team. Hopefully we’ll get this straightened out.” Inconsistencies from some players are also hurting and an example from Thursday was F Byron Mullens going 1-for-8 after scoring 19 points Wednesday. F Bismack Biyombo has been in the starting lineup for the last four games. While he's not much of a scorer, he has grabbed 34 rebounds as a starter.
1. Orlando has a sizable advantage in the all-time series with 23 victories in 32 regular-season meetings. Recently, the Magic have won seven of the last nine and 14 of the last 16.
2. Orlando C Nikola Vucevic has led or tied the team in rebounding 13 times. His 17 rebounds Friday were a career-high.
3.The Bobcats also have dropped their last seven games and have allowed over 100 points in each loss.