PREGAME REPORT | FEBRUARY 6, 2013

 



Tipoff: 4:00 p.m. PST | Amway Center | Orlando, FL | Game Notes »

                           

RAFAEL GUERRERO

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Perhaps it’s fitting that the Clippers head into Amway Center to take on the Magic on Wednesday night as both teams have been severely hit by the injuries.

The Clippers (34-16) limp into Orlando on a three-game losing streak. They have been without superstar point guard Chris Paul (bruised right kneecap) since Jan. 21 and Chauncey Billups for all but three games this season. They suffered another blow prior to their game in Washington as Blake Griffin was unable to play due to a strained left hamstring. Griffin is considered a game-time decision Wednesday.

"The most important part is for us to stop the bleeding," Grant Hill said at shoot-around. "Whoever suits up we've got to be ready to play and go for 48 minutes and hopefully get a win. And get that taste of winning back."

The Magic (14-34) come into Wednesday night’s game after listing six players as inactive in their loss to the 76ers Monday. Aaron Afflalo (strained left calf), Jameer Nelson (bruised left forearm), J.J. Redick (sore right shoulder) and Glen Davis (broken left foot) were all absent from the Magic’s 18-point loss at Philadelphia.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Redick and Afflalo will not play against the Clippers.

LAST TIME OUT

Wizards 98, Clippers 90: Without their two superstars, the Clippers were unable to avoid losing their third consecutive game.

Three players scored in double figures for the Clippers, led by Jamal Crawford’s 28-point effort. He went 10-for-20 from the field in 32 minutes and hit 3-of-7 shots from beyond the arc. Eric Bledsoe narrowly missed his second consecutive double-double as he scored 17 points and dished out nine assists.

The Clippers trailed 80-79 in the fourth quarter but the Wizards used a 7-0 scoring run to put the game away, capped off by a jumper from Garrett Temple who finished the game with 15 points.

Turnovers proved to be the Clippers undoing in the final quarter as they committed eight of their 20 giveaways in the fourth.

76ers 78, Magic 61: With the visiting Magic missing the majority of their starting lineup due to injury, the team shot just 33.8% from the field en route to putting up their lowest point total of the season.

E’Twaun Moore led the way for the Magic with 18 points on 9-for-17 shooting. Andrew Nicholson and Moe Harkless were the only other players to reach double figures for the Magic, dropping 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Magic failed to score 20-plus points in any quarter and were put away in the third when the 76ers went on a 14-1 scoring run.

NOTEWORTHY MATCHUP

DeAndre Jordan vs. Nikola Vucevic. The battle of the boards will likely swing on the performance of these two big men. Jordan is coming off a career-high 22 rebounds in Monday’s loss at Washington. It was the most rebounds by a Clippers player since Marcus Camby snatched 25 boards on Jan. 20, 2010. Jordan also grabbed 20-plus rebounds for the third time in his career. He grabbed 20 on two previous occasions, the last coming on Jan. 5, 2011 against Denver.

Vucevic, who came over from Philadelphia in the four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers, has been a revelation for the Magic. He is averaging a double-double at 12.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He also set a franchise record on Dec. 31 when he grabbed 29 rebounds against the Miami Heat, breaking Shaquille O’Neal’s record. Vucevic has 26 double-doubles this year including one 20-point, 20-rebound game.

TWO THINGS TO WATCH

A Chance For Payback. This will be the final meeting between the teams this season. The Magic upset the Clippers 104-101 at Staples Center on Jan. 12 thanks to a 3-pointer by Redick with 42 seconds left that proved to be the difference. Paul injured his knee a few seconds prior to the shot when he collided with Redick trying to track down a loose ball.

Griffin led the Clippers with 30 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists but did not attempt a shot in the fourth quarter and Crawford missed a game-tying 3-pointer as time expired.

The game also marked Hill’s debut with the Clippers. He scored his only two points of the game on free throws.

Breaking The Funk. The Clippers have lost seven of their last nine games and are looking to avoid their second four-game losing in the last two weeks. They also lost four straight back in late November, a funk they halted by going on a franchise-record 17-game winning streak.

But things could be worse and the Magic are proof. They are in the midst of a 10-game losing streak and have won just twice during the first 36 days of 2013. Ironically, their only victories this calendar year have come against the Clippers and the Indiana Pacers, who are a combined 64-35 this season.

NOTES

Davis (fractured left foot) underwent surgery on Feb. 1 and is expected to miss eight-to-12 weeks… The Magic have lost 130 total player games due to injury or illness this season…The Clippers and Magic are ranked fourth and 11th overall in the NBA in points in the paint, averaging 46.04 and 42.21, respectively… Despite having won just twice in 2013, the Magic are 6-1 this season against Pacific Division teams… The Clippers 34-16 record is the best 50-game start in franchise history… Wednesday’s game will be the fifth of the Clippers’ season-long eight-game road trip. It wraps up Monday in Philadelphia. 

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