Key Matchup vs. Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard vs. Nikola Vučević

by Quinton Wash

A road meeting with the Orlando Magic could be just what the Hornets need to snap a four-game losing streak as they’ll look to record an 11th-consecutive victory over their division rivals tonight.

It’ll be another homecoming of sorts for Hornets center Dwight Howard, who spent his first eight NBA seasons playing for the Magic. The 14-year veteran has been superb lately for Charlotte, posting averages of 21.0 points on 58.4 percent shooting, 16.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in just 31.7 minutes over his last seven outings.

Howard will likely be paired up with Montenegrin seven-footer, Nikola Vučević, who has had a solid season despite missing two months with a broken hand. Vučević, the franchise’s second all-time leading rebounder behind Howard, is currently one of three active NBA players averaging at least 16.0 points, 9.0 boards, 3.0 assists and 1.0 block per game this campaign.

Orlando has been focusing on NBA Draft Lottery position for some time now, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Vučević get limited minutes in favor of players like Bismack Biyombo, Khem Birch and Wes Iwundu. Regardless of the opposing rotation, look for Howard to keep the momentum rolling as the Hornets aim for their second-straight season-series sweep of the Magic.

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