by Tomas Lopez
The Orlando Magic will try to notch consecutive wins for the first time in more than two months when they host the struggling Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Orlando snapped a five-game skid with a 98-84 win at Philadelphia on Tuesday, marking the Magic's second win in 19 games. They'll try to make it two in a row for the first time since winning four straight from Dec. 14-19.
The Kings came close to snapping their own skid Tuesday, rallying to push Miami to two overtimes before falling 141-129 for their season-high sixth consecutive loss. Sacramento also has dropped a season-high nine straight on the road as it winds down a five-game swing that concludes Friday at San Antonio. Orlando has won seven of the past nine meetings with Sacramento, but the Kings won the first one this season, a 91-82 home victory on Dec. 7.
Sacramento Kings at Orlando Magic
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Comcast Sports Net California (Sacramento), Fox Sports Florida (Orlando)
Sacramento Kings (19-39): Sacramento can score in bunches, as it showed in the final seconds Tuesday in Miami, but the defense continues to be a liability. Big man DeMarcus Cousins (17.5 points, 10.1 rebounds) and slasher Tyreke Evans (15.5 points, 4.8 rebounds) lead the way, but Isaiah Thomas (12.7 points) and Marcus Thornton (12.1 points) are streaky shooters who can light it up when hot. Thornton scored a season-high 38 against the Heat.
Orlando Magic (16-41): The Magic have been ravaged by injuries, but they got some good news on that front Tuesday, as forward Al Harrington made his season debut with nine points in 12 minutes in a reserve role. Harrington's return gives the Magic another big man to pair with Nikola Vucevic (12.3 points, 11.5 rebounds), who notched his 32nd double-double Tuesday. Newcomer Tobias Harris has averaged 15 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games since being acquired from Milwaukee, and rookie Moe Harkless has scored in double figures in five consecutive games. Their emergence takes some pressure off leading scorer Arron Afflalo (16.8 points).
1. The Magic are 4-16 in games decided by six points or less.
2. The Kings are 5-7 in the second game of back-to-back sets and are trying to avoid being swept in a back-to-back for the eighth time this season.
3. Sacramento has given up an average of 116.5 points in its past eight games and has allowed at least 10 3-pointers in four straight contests.
NBA Basketball Prediction: Magic 103, Kings 99.
arron afflalo - demarcus cousins - isaiah thomas - marcus thornton - moe harkless - nikola vucevic - orlando magic - sacramento kings - tobias harris - tyreke evans