The Orlando Magic will look to put an end to their three-game losing streak Friday night but it won’t be easy. Not only are the Magic playing on the second night of a back-to-back but they’ll have to take on the Utah Jazz. If you’ll remember, the Jazz came back from 18 points down to defeat the Magic 104-94 back on November 10th in Orlando.
The Jazz enter this game with a record of 16-7. However, after winning seven straight games, the Jazz have lost two of their last three games, including a 111-98 loss in their last outing against the Miami Heat Wednesday night. The Magic fell to 15-7 with their loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night.
The game will be shown locally by Sun Sports. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
Tip off from EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah is scheduled for 9:00 pm EST.
The Line: Utah – 3.0
The officials will be Greg Willard, Mark Ayotte and Leroy Richardson.
Opponent To Watch: Paul Millsap, PF – Yes Point Guard Deron Williams is one of the elite NBA players and Center Al Jefferson has been good about the Magic but they were already known commodities. Millsap has shown flashes before and was rewarded with a nice contract, but he is having a fantastic season. He’s averaging 17.9 points per game 53.1% shooting to go along with 8.2 rebounds per game. Power Forward is usually a tough matchup for Rashard Lewis and Brandon Bass and Millsap scored 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting and got himself to the free throw eight times in Utah’s first meeting with the Magic.
What To Watch For: Things aren’t going well for the Magic. It’s not just that they’ve lost three games in a row, it’s how the way they’re losing these games. Dwight Howard called out his teammates after their loss to Portland Thursday night. Howard scored 39 points and grabbed 15 rebounds but the Magic scored just 83 points and lost by 14. It will be interesting to see how his teammates respond Friday night.
If Vince Carter is going to be matched up with Gordon Hayward, he has to take advantage.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days (1420sports.com) and ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).