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Sacramento Kings @ Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic will look to start a new winning streak when play host to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. The Magic put an end to their three-game losing streak by beating the Indiana Pacers 109-98 on Wednesday night. The Magic seemed to let up in the second half but in the locker room afterwards,  the team just felt good to get the victory. It was Orlando’s first victory since they defeated Kings on January 12th.

The Kings have not had it easy as of late either. Sacramento has lost five games in a row and is 0-4 on their current six-game east coast road trip. Overall, the Kings have lost 10 of their last 11 games and their record has dropped to 15-26. Orlando enters the game at 27-15. The Kings have been an awful road team, posting a record of 3-17 away from home while the Magic have been excellent at home – they are 15-4 at Amway Arena.

Tip-off from the Am is set for 7:00 pm EST and the game will be shown by Sun Sports. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can hear it locally on WDBO 580 AM and in Spanish on WONQ AM 1030. Per Sun Sports, the game can me seen on DirecTV channel 656 and DISH Network channel 473.

Update: As expected, Jameer Nelson will start Friday night.

The Line: Orlando – 9.5



Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
Vince Carter
Jameer Nelson


Jon Brockman
Jason Thompson
Donte Green
Kevin Martin
Tyreke Evans

Bennett Salvatore, Pat Fraher and Josh Tiven will be the officials for the game.

In the first meeting between the two teams, the Kings held a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter before the Magic turned it on, dominating the fourth quarter 33-10 on way to a 109-88 victory. The Magic did a great job of getting the ball to Dwight Howard in the final quarter and Howard finished with his best game of the season – 30 points on 9-of-15 shooting, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, and 3 steals. Mickael Pietrus had 18 points and 10 rebounds off of the bench.

Howard had another fantastic scoring night Wednesday against the Pacers. He hit 16 of his 24 free throws and finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds.

Howard has averaged 20.4 points per game in his career against the Kings. There is no team he is a higher points per game average against (Note: Howard also averages 20.4 points per game against the Utah Jazz).

That doesn’t bode well for the Kings, who are extremely undersized.  The Kings give up 105.3 points per game and rank 25th in defensive efficiency. The Magic, who have shot the ball better in their last two games and shot 50.6% from the field last Tuesday in Sacramento, should not have trouble scoring against the Kings.

Sacramento actually scores more points than the Magic at 102.3 per game but they rank just 15th in efficiency.

Leading scorer Kevin Martin has returned for the Kings and is averaging 18.5 points per game since that return four games ago. He’s scoring 25.2 points per game in nine total games this season. He had his best game since his return on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks when he went for 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting in a 108-97 loss.

Rookie Tyreke Evans has been fantastic for the Kings. Evans, the front-runner for rookie of the year award, is scoring 20.9 points per game on 46.1% shooting, dishes out 5.0 assists per game and grabs 4.9 rebounds per game. Evans should present a huge problem for a Magic backcourt that really struggles to defend opposing guards, but the Magic did a good job against Evans last week – he  scored 18 points, but was just 5-of-16 from the field.

Speaking of Evans, per Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee, Evans will donate $1,000 to the Clinton-Bush Haiti fund for every point he scores Friday night against the Magic.

Backup Point Guard Beno Udrih scored 15 points off of the bench in the last meeting so Jason Williams and the second unit will have to do a better job on him.

This is a game the Magic should win and win easily, but their inconsistency has made no game a sure thing.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)