NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Orlando Magic (6-10) at Washington Wizards (8-9), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - John Wall and the Washington Wizards hope to resume
their consistent ways of winning when they continue a four-game homestand
Monday versus the Orlando Magic.
The Wizards have won six of their last eight games since a four-game slide and
handed the Atlanta Hawks a 108-101 victory Saturday in the opener of the
homestand. All five starters scored in double digits and Wall led the bunch
with 26 points, 12 assists and six rebounds.
Wall was averaging 29.5 points per game during a four-game stretch, then was
limited to eight points in a recent loss at Indiana. Wall bounced back in a
big way versus the Hawks and made 9-of-18 shots.
Trevor Ariza scored 24 points, Martell Webster had 19 and Nene finished with
13 points and 12 boards for Washington, which has won four straight in D.C.
and improved to 5-2 at home. Webster entered the game averaging 16.3 ppg in
his last four.
"We're showing growth. We're showing maturity. I feel we're ready to take the
next step and become a playoff team," Ariza said after the team's eighth game
over a 12-night stretch.
Washington, which had an 18-point advantage, shot 48.7 percent for the game
and made 12-of-24 3-pointers. Marcin Gortat scored 12 points and grabbed seven
rebounds, and was averaging 18.3 points and 10.8 rebounds in his last four.
The Wizards still have Milwaukee and Denver to play on the homestand.
Orlando will put its 1-5 road ledger on the line when it begins a six-game,
12-day trip Monday against Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Houston,
Memphis and Charlotte.
The Magic had a two-game winning streak stopped and lost for the fifth time in
seven tries with Friday's 109-91 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Rookie
Victor Oladipo finished with 15 points and three blocked shots, while Arron
Afflalo led the Magic with 17 points in the setback.
Magic veteran point guard Jameer Nelson did not play on Friday night because
of the sprained foot suffered last week and is questionable against the
Wizards. Nelson is posting averages of 11.7 points and 6.1 assists. An X-ray
and MRI did not reveal any structural damage.
"I think the main thing is continue to get treatment, see how my body responds
and take it day to day," Nelson said. "I'm walking on my own two (feet) and
I'm able to get around and do things. So I'm fortunate that it's not something
serious. I just have to listen to the training staff and get the treatment
that they want me to have and do the proper things."
Oladipo made his first start at point guard in Nelson's place.
"He has a ton of questions and he feels like I have all of the answers,"
Nelson said of the rookie. "So I give him as many answers as I can. We're
going to be here together and we have to work together."
The Wizards are still without second-year guard Bradley Beal (leg) and will
play the first of four meetings with Orlando this season. Washington and
Orlando split four matchups a season ago, but the Magic have won 11 of the
last 14 contests in this series.
Orlando has lost three straight after winning its last four in D.C.
12/02 10:25:48 ET