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Philadelphia 76ers @ Orlando Magic


Looking to finish the season on the right now, the Orlando Magic will attempt to win their sixth straight game when they end the regular season on Wednesday night. They will close out the regular season the same way they opened it –  by hosting the Philadelphia 76ers. If the Magic, who blew out the Indiana Pacers 118-98 on Monday night, are succesful, they will match last season’s 59-23 record. Philadelphia lost a heartbreaker to the Miami Heat on Monday and that loss actually locked the Charlotte Bobcats into the seventh seed, making them Orlando’s first round opponent. Philadelphia has lost seven of their last eight games.

These two teams have meet three times this season and the Magic have won all three meetings. Orlando won 120-106 on opening night in Orlando and defeated the 76ers twice in March in Philadelphia – 126-105 on March 1st and 109-93 exactly three weeks late on March 22nd.

Basketball Stats

The 76ers, who made the playoffs as a six seed last year and took the Magic to six games in the first round, have had a very disappointing 27-54 season. They have actually played better on the road (15-25) than at home (12-29) this season. The Magic are 33-7 at home.

Tip-off from the Am is scheduled for 8:00 pm EST. The game will be aired locally by Sun Sports. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen to it locally on WDBO AM 580 and in Spanish on WONQ AM 1030.

Wednesday night is also Fan Appreciation Night.

The Line: Orlando – 11.0


Philadelphia 76ers

Samuel Dalembert
Elton Brand
Jason Kapono
Andre Iguodala
Jure Holiday

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
Vince Carter
Jameer Nelson

Philadelphia ranks 20th in offensive rating and scores 97.6 points per game. They are 23rd in the league in pace (91.6). They rank 22nd in defensive rating and give up 101.3 points per game.

The 76ers have been no match for the Magic this season. They have had some success on offense but that’s primarily because they have had no answer for the Magic on defense, allowing them to score 118.3 points per game.

Dwight Howard has been dominate against the 76ers. He has scored 19.3 points, grabbed 11.0 rebounds and blocked 1.67 shots per game against Philadelphia this season, while only playing 29.3 minutes per game. He played just 24 minutes in Orlando’s blowout win on March 1st, scoring only 14 points ans grabbing just three rebounds, which is why his averages don’t do his dominance against the 76er justice. On opening night, he scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and on March 22nd, he scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Expect more of the same from Howard on Wednesday night in his final tune-up for the postseason.

Rashard Lewis, who has seen his scoing average dip to 14.1 points per game this season, was excellent against the 76ers in March, averaging 21.5 points on 66.7% shooting in two meetings with the 76ers. Philadelphia did not have an answer for Lewis.

Unfortunately for the Magic, Lewis and the other Magic Power Forwards had trouble on the defensive end in their last meeting, allowing Elton Brand to scoe 23 points. However, Brand did most of his damage early and the Magic were able to slow him down as the game went on.

Jrue Holiday is a rookie that has shown a lot of improvement as the season has gone on and has played very well against the Magic this season (15.0 points, 6.5 assists per game).

Andre Iguodala leads the 76ers with 17.2 points per game.

The Lakers defeated the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, so the Magic need a win to ensure homecourt advantage in the NBA finals should they make it through the Eastern Conference.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and at Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).