Milwaukee (37-37) at Orlando (29-44)

Fair Currently: Orlando, FL
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Wed Apr 5, 2006
  • TV: WCGV, SUN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Orlando Magic try to hold onto their slim playoff hopes as they host the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Magic are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, five games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth and final playoff spot with nine games remaining.

Orlando is looking for its sixth win in seven games after a 108-99 win Friday over the Dallas Mavericks.

“This was a big step for us,” Magic coach Brian Hill said. “I think we’re becoming a basketball team rather than a collection of individuals. To me it’s very rewarding to see how, at this stage of the season, how hard these guys are playing.”

The Magic have shot 54.1 percent from the field while scoring 105.2 points per game in their last five wins while holding opponents to an average of 93.2 in those contests.

Jameer Nelson has been a key contributor in the five wins, averaging 19.6 points. The second-year point guard scored 27 in the win over the Mavericks and is averaging 14.4 points after scoring just 8.7 points per game his rookie season.

Orlando, though, will need to overcome its struggles against Milwaukee to continue its playoff push. The Magic have won just six of their last 26 against the Bucks and have lost four of the last five games between the teams.

The Bucks have lost two of their last three after Tuesday’s 115-89 rout at the hands of the Miami Heat.

“It was one of those nights when nothing went right,” Bucks guard Charlie Bell said. “We tried to get back in the game. We just didn’t have it in the tank.”

Bell scored a career-high 29 points and is averaging 16.0 points in his last nine games, nearly double his season average of 8.3 points. Bucks leading scorer Michael Redd was held to 16 points—his lowest total in 11 games— after consecutive 30-point outings.

Milwaukee is in sixth place in the East, 2 1/2 games ahead of Philadelphia with eight to play. The Bucks, though, have a difficult schedule down the stretch, playing six teams that have either clinched a postseason spot or are challenging for a playoff berth.

Two of those games are against Eastern Conference division winners Detroit and New Jersey.

STANDINGS (through April 3): Bucks - 3rd place, 23 GB, Central Division. Magic - 3rd place, 19 1/2 GB, Southeast Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Bucks - F Andrew Bogut, F Bobby Simmons, C Jamaal Magloire, G Redd, G T.J. Ford. Magic - F Hedo Turkoglu, F Dwight Howard, C Tony Battie, G DeShawn Stevenson, G Nelson.

TEAM LEADERS: Bucks - Redd, 25.4 ppg; Magloire, 9.7 rpg; Ford, 6.5 apg. Magic - Howard, 15.5 ppg and 12.3 rpg; Nelson, 4.8 apg.

SEASON SERIES: Bucks, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 8; Bucks, 94-89. At Milwaukee, Redd scored 27 points and Magloire grabbed 18 rebounds to counter Turkoglu’s 27 points and Howard’s double-double of 11 points and 14 boards.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bucks - 14-23 on the road; Magic - 21-14 at home.

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