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LA Clippers vs Orlando Magic: The Preview

  • Tonight, fourth in the West meets fifth in the East, it is the LA Clippers vs Orlando Magic in a high stakes game with postseason implications. Each is chasing home court advantage come the playoffs. Each are locked in a tight battle in their respective conference. It is also the first night of a home back-to-back for Orlando.

Regular Season Game 73 – LA Clippers vs Orlando Magic 

  • Venue – Kia Center, Orlando, Florida  
  • Tip time here in the U.K. is 11pm, which is 7pm in Orlando.
  • To watch live or on demand in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 42-30
  • Run: Lost 2 and are 6-4 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 25-11 (25-10) in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City).
  • Road Record 17-19
  • Standing: 5th in the East
  • Points Per GameFor 110.6 Against 108.7
  • RatingOffensive 23rd Defensive 2nd
  • The Magic have on 20 occasions this season held opponents to under 100 points, winning 17 of those games.
  • When Orlando lead going into the final quarter of a game this season they hold a 35-1 record, leading the league in this category. 
  • Orlando have a perfect record at Kia Center against sub-.500 teams (15-0) this season.

Last Time Out – vs Golden State Warriors

  • The Magic produced a sub-par performance and recorded a home court defeat by 101-93 to the Warriors on Wednesday night (27th March).
  • Even with Jonathan Kuminga out and Draymond Green ejected after 4 minutes Orlando failed to play with anything near the intensity or efficiency needed to defeat a Warriors team that came out swinging on the second night of a back-to-back. 
  • Soon the Magic trailed by 17 points and only the efforts of Cole Anthony and Jonathan Isaac were keeping the Magic somewhat in contention.
  • The clawed their way back into the game, trailing by a single point with 2 ½ minutes remaining in the final quarter. However, a botched possession followed and they went cold, missing their final three shots.
  • Unfortunately in that same period for the first time in the game Orlando’s defence was unable to prevent Curry from making the game’s two biggest shots, including that dagger 3-pointer with 33 seconds remaining.
  • Throughout the game rebounding and missed free throws hurt the Magic.
  • Cole Anthony led the Magic with a game-high 26 points. Cole looked and played like the player we all know he is capable of being.
  • Paolo Banchero had a rough shooting night, going 5-of-17 overall and a poor 1-of-7 from 3-point distance. He finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
  • Franz Wagner was the only other Magic player to score in double figures with 14 points.
  • The starting lineup was Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench came Jonathan Isaac, Cole Anthony, Anthony Black, Joe Ingles and Moritz Wagner.
  • Chuma Okeke, Admiral Schofield and Goga Bitadze were available but did not play.
  • Caleb Houstan, Gary Harris, Jett Howard, Kevon Harris and Trevelin Queen were inactive for the Magic.

Tonight

  • Gary Harris and Caleb Houstan are no longer listed on the Orlando injury report.
  • However being a back-to-back Markelle Fultz is listed as questionable for “injury maintenance”.
  • Jett Howard is unavailable being assigned to the G-League with the Osceola Magic.
  • Trevelin Queen and Kevon Harris are also listed as unavailable.
  • With Gary Harris available Coach Mosley will likely insert him back into the starting unit.

The LA Clippers 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 45-27 Run: Won 1 and are 4-6 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 4th in the West 
  • Points Per GameFor 116.3 Against 112.9
  • RatingOffensive 4th Defensive 19th
  • On the season the team from LA have a 23-14 road record, which is a shade better than their home record.
  • The Clippers play at a considered pace, shooting on average one of the lowest number of field goals per game. However when they shoot it their field goal percentage is almost 50%, one of the best in the NBA.
  • On defence the Clippers are mid-league in many categories. They are 6th in blocks, being led by Ivica Zubac. Steals are also a strength, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George ranking 4th and 6th in the league per game. 
  • The Clippers have depth and experience. Kawhi Leonard (23.7 ppg), Paul George (22.5 ppg), James Harden (17.1 ppg and with 8.6 assists per game is 4th), Russell Westbrook, Terence Mann, Norman Powell (14.1 ppg) and Ivica Zubac all bring a threat.

Last Time Out For The LA Clippers 

  • The Clippers took a road win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night by 108-107.
  • LA led for only 1 minute 20 seconds across the whole game and at times trailed heavily. Kawhi Leonard made a 2-point-lay-up with 15 seconds of the final quarter remaining to draw the Clippers level. He made the subsequent “and-1-free-throw” to give a single point win. With 5 seconds to go Kelly Oubre had his lay-up blocked by Leonard to seal the win for the visitors.
  • Paul George led the Clippers with a 22 point and 10 rebound double-double. James Harden added an impressive double-double of 16 points and 14 assists. 5 other players scored in double figures including all 5 starters.
  • Starting 5 – James Harden, Terence Mann, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Ivica Zubac.
  • From the bench came Norman Powell, Russell Westbrook, Amir Coffey, Mason Plumlee and PJ Tucker.
  • Daniel Theis, Bones Hyland, Brandon Boston Jr and Xavier Moon were unused by head coach Ty Lue.
  • Kobe Brown, Moussa Diabete, Jordan Miller and Joshua Primo were all inactive.

Tonight

  • The Clippers had nothing listed on their injury report as this was produced.
  • Head coach Ty Lue will likely use that same starting 5 as he has favoured when available.

LA Clippers vs Orlando Magic – Head-To-Head

  • In 68 regular season games played the score stands at 32-36 to the Clippers.
  • The meeting this season came on Halloween (game day 4) and saw in part for Orlando a horror show, losing on the road by 102-118. The Clippers played shorthanded but still fielded plenty of veteran experience. For the Magic nothing clicked on offence, as the ball got stuck, the pace and player movement slow. Orlando took 33 free throws, but made only 19 (57.6%). 16 turnovers, many self inflicted led to 23 Clippers points. Paul George and Russell Westbrook guided the home side to a win. Paolo Banchero with 15 points led 6 Magic players in double figure scoring.
  • The Magic won the series 2-0 last season. The season before the Clippers took a 2-0 series victory. 
  • Between January 2014 and January 2021 the Clippers won 14 meetings straight.

LA Clippers vs Orlando Magic: A Final Thought

  • So often in sport young teams in a strong position have a wobble or two in the big moments. Against Golden State the Magic had a bad game against a team that has the knowledge of how to win in pressure situations. These type of games are a part of developing a strong mindset and understanding how to win. Orlando are well ahead last season in terms of winning when something hasn’t gone our way, be it a large deficit, throwing a lead or just not getting calls. This is now a different pressure and situation for the team. Yes we lost and yes we played badly for long stretches. Too many of the team didn’t get into that game but it is only one game. Even playing poorly they came from a long back to get to within 1 point. Tonight is a quick opportunity to regroup and bounce back.
  • This is the first night of a back-to-back for the Magic. Looking at back-to-back games this season, the Magic are fairing better than last season.
    • This Season – First Night 7-6 : Second Night 4-9
    • Last Season – First Night 6-7 : Second Night 1-12
  • Both teams are in a fight for the postseason. The Clippers are fighting for home court, holding the 4th seed from the Pelicans by virtue of having played a game less. Dallas are currently on a tear and are just two wins behind in 6th. In the East the Magic are 3 wins clear of the Miami Heat (7th) and the Philadelphia 76ers (8th). Orlando are chasing Cleveland in 4th (44-29) and the New York Knicks in 3rd (44-28). The Pacers sit in 6th on a 41-33 record.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!