These two teams met in Los Angeles back on December 12. The Magic built a 26-point lead only to see the Clippers come back but the Magic were able to hold on for a 94-85 victory. Dwight Howard led the Magic with 22 points while Blake Griffin had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Clippers.
The Clippers have played better this season and for the first time in a long time, look like they have a bright future, but they are still just 19-31 and are 13th in the Western conference.
The Magic fell to 32-20 with their loss to the Boston Celtics Sunday night and now are just fifth in the Eastern conference.
The Clippers rank 15th in pace (92.3), 16th in offensive rating (106.5) and 19th in defensive rating (109.2).
The game will be shown locally by FSN Florida. 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 the the Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.
The Line: Orlando – 9.5 (-110), 201.5u
Los Angeles Clippers
Clippers guard Eric Gordon is out with a sprained right wrist while both Chris Kaman (bone bruise/sprained left ankle) and Craig Smith (herniated disk in lower back) are out indefinitely.
Daniel Orton (left knee surgery) is out indefinitely. Brandon Bass is expected to miss another game because of his sprained left ankle.
The officials will be Derrick Stafford, Nick Buchert and Gary Zielinski.
Opponent To Watch: Blake Griffin, F – Griffin is one of the best shows in the NBA now. The runaway Rookie of the Year is averaging 22.9 points and 12.8 rebounds per game in 50 games this season. Griffin is going to be an extremely tough matchup for the Magic, especially without Brandon Bass. Both Ryan Anderson and Earl Clark are going to have their work cut out for them from both an athletic standpoint and a size standpoint. Griffin had 27 points against the Magic earlier this season but the Magic didn’t do a terrible job defensively – it did take him 23 shots to do it.
What To Watch For: The Magic could really use a win here and despite their record, it’s going to be difficult for the Magic to defeat the Clippers. They are an improved team and provide a few matchup problems for the Magic, especially if Dwight Howard gets into any kind of foul trouble because the Clippers can expose Orlando’s lack of depth in the frontcourt. It is still a game the Magic should win and if they expect to turn things around, they shouldn’t lose games like this.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger 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).
Topics: Blake Griffin, Brandon Bass, Deandre Jordan, Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, Eric Gordon, Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Malik Allen, Orlando Magic, Ryan Anderson