Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Philadelphia 76ers @ Orlando Magic

After defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-84 Sunday evening, the Magic will return home to host the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night. The 76ers have lost five of their last seven games, including a 95-89 loss to the New Jersey Nets Friday night, dropping their record to 31-28. The Magic enter with a record of 35-25. With just six games to go, the 76ers virtually have to win this game if they want to catch the Magic and avoid both the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat in the first round.

These two teams met on January 30 and Philadelphia rode a suffocating defense to a 74-69 victory. Andre Iguodala had 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while Ryan Anderson, who scored 14 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, was Orlando’s lone bright spot. The two teams faced off again in Orlando on February 15 and the Magic got some revenge, defeating the 76ers 103-87. Ryan Anderson led the way with 27 points. Just over a week ago, on April 7, Orlando defeated Philadelphia 88-82.

The Magic rank 16th in offensive rating (104.8), 11th in defensive rating (103.2) and play at the league’s fourth-slowest pace (89.2). The 76ers are 20th in offensive rating (103.4), second in defensive rating (98.1) and play at the seventh-slowest pace (89.7).

Tip-off from the Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST and will be shown locally on FS Florida and nationally on NBA TV.

As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and FM 96.5  and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.

The officials for tonight’s game are Ron Garretson, Eric Lewis and Eli Roe.

The Line:  Philadelphia – 3.5 (181u)

Starters:

Philadelphia 76ers

Elton Brand*
Thaddeus Young*
Andre Iguodala
Evan Turner
Jrue Holiday

Orlando Magic

Daniel Orton**
Ryan Anderson
Jason Richardson
J.J. Redick
Jameer Nelson

*Per Michael Preston, Philadelphia’s Director of Public Relations, the Sixers will slide Elton Brand to Center and move Thaddeus Young into the starting lineup to match up with Ryan Anderson. That’s not a surprising move considering Anderson has averaged 20.5 points and 11.0 rebounds while shooting 60.0% from the field in two games against the Sixers this season.

**Daniel Orton will start instead of Glen Davis (day-to-day, sprained right knee) and Dwight Howard (out, herniated disc).

Orlando’s injuries are mounting – little used second-year center Daniel Orton will start in place of an injured Glen Davis (knee), who was starting in place of an injured Dwight Howard (back). Orton played a career-high 29 minutes in Sunday’s win over the Cavaliers and made a nice impact, scoring 11 points, recording five steals, pulling down four rebounds and blocking three shots. Of course, Monday presents a totally different challenge.

Despite their recent struggles, Philadelphia ranks second in the league in defensive efficiency and Elton Brand, who is sliding to Center and will match up with Orton should give the second-year Kentucky product all he can handle.

76ers Resources:

CSN Philly
76ers Gab
Liberty Ballers
Philadunkia
Philly.com
The Sixer Sense

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)

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Tags: Andre Iguodala Chris Duhon Doug Collins Dwight Howard Elton Brand Glen Davis Hedo Turkoglu J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Richardson Jodie Meeks Jrue Holiday Larry Hughes Lou Williams Orlando Magic Otis Smith Philadelphia 76ers Quentin Richardson Ryan Anderson Spencer Hawes Stan Van Gundy Thaddeus Young Tony Battie Von Wafer

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