After a strong start, the Orlando Magic have had trouble maintaining any consistency. They’ll try to begin showing some improvement on the road as they visit the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center.
Orlando is coming off a 101-96 win against Atlanta on Thursday, snapping a three-game losing streak, as Steve Francis scored 11 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter—including a game-deciding 17-footer with 17 seconds to play.
It was just the Magic’s second win in six games.
“A win against any team in this league is a good thing,” Magic coach Johnny Davis said. “We’re still basically a new team and still going through growing pains, but you can’t stop. You’ve got to keep working at it and we are.”
Against the Hawks, Orlando had a 20-point midway through the third quarter before Atlanta rallied in the fourth and cut it to 97-94 in the final minute.
“It’s hard when you’re up in a game for a long time like that,” Francis said. “It’s hard to consistently stay focused for that period of time. I’m definitely happy with the result, but we improved in some areas.”
Orlando opened the season 13-6, but is just 13-17 since—including 3-13 on the road.
Philadelphia will be trying to salvage a tie of the teams’ season series after dropping two of the first three meetings.
The 76ers are coming off a 106-91 win at Toronto on Friday, as Allen Iverson scored 30 points. Kenny Thomas had 21 points and eight rebounds, and rookie Andre Iguodala added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Philadelphia, coming off consecutive losses, outrebounded Toronto 47-33 and outscored the Raptors 20-0 on the fast break.
“That’s what the official score had, I had them for six fast-break points by our calculations,” Philadelphia coach Jim O’Brien said. “But either way it was a good effort to beat them in the open court.”
Philadelphia has a chance to move within one game of the .500 mark. After splitting their first 12 games, the 76ers lost a season-high six straight and have had a losing record since.