Orlando looks for its seventh win in eight visits to Washington and tries to beat the Wizards for the 12th time in 15 meetings overall when the teams play for the second time this season Saturday night.
The Magic easily took the last two matchups with the Wizards in 2009-10 and came away with a 112-83 home win in the season opener for both teams Oct. 28, shooting 55.8 percent from the field. Orlando went ahead by 14 after the first quarter, led 58-34 at halftime and had a 35-point advantage in the fourth.
In the last two meetings last season, the Magic averaged 115.0 points and shot 54.8 percent - 58.3 from 3-point range.
Orlando (11-4) had another strong offensive performance Friday night, scoring 62 points in the first half en route to a 111-100 victory over Cleveland. The Magic shot 55.6 percent overall - going 14 for 31 from beyond the arc for their second-most 3s made of the season - to win for the sixth time in seven games.
“Guys might have felt like there was a lid on the basket for a while this season, but it’s coming off,” said point guard Jameer Nelson(notes), who hit nine of 13 shots and scored 20. “History doesn’t lie. We’ve got good shooters and we’ve proved it in the past. It’s coming around.”
Coach Stan Van Gundy would like to see the Magic play better on the other end of the floor after they let the Cavaliers stay in it until the final minutes of the game.
“We were terrible defensively, absolutely terrible,” Van Gundy said. “It’s the same old thing with us right now. When the scoring is easy, we won’t guard and that’s why we can’t put games away.”
Washington (5-9) failed to win consecutive games for the first time this season with a 116-96 loss at Atlanta on Thanksgiving, getting outscored 28-18 in the first quarter. The Wizards, whose previous two contests went to overtime, have yet to beat an opponent with a winning record.
“The disappointing thing was our lack of competitiveness to start the game,” coach Flip Saunders said. “I couldn’t understand why. (We) basically had a day off, had an opportunity and just did not match their intensity. … We have not competed against a good team yet.”
“We get paid for this,” said Wall, who shot 6 for 19 last month at Orlando in his NBA debut. “This is our job, this is our dream. This is what we want to do. So we need to start acting like it and take it more serious.”
The Wizards fell to 0-7 on the road, but it’s been a different story for them at home.
Washington is 5-2 at the Verizon Center and has won its last three there to match its longest home winning streak from last season. The Wizards haven’t won four in a row on their own court since April 4-14, 2008.