The Orlando Magic's winning streak is over, but a trip to Milwaukee could help them get back on track.
Playing in front of their home fans hasn't helped the Bucks at all lately.
Orlando goes for its sixth consecutive victory in this series - and third in the last 10 days - on Monday night when the Bucks try to avoid their first six-game home losing streak in 12 years.
Winners of four straight and eight of 10, the Magic (20-12) shot 36.5 percent and lost 90-78 at league-best Miami on Sunday.
"When we scored we couldn't get a stop and when we stopped them we couldn't score,'' coach Stan Van Gundy told the Magic's official website. "It was that simple.''
Although the Magic have lost just four times in the last 21 matchups with Milwaukee, Orlando needed a pair of strong fourth-quarter efforts to defeat the Bucks twice this month. After rallying from 10 down in the final period on Feb. 11 for a 99-94 victory at the Bradley Center, the host Magic outscored Milwaukee 22-11 in the fourth quarter of Friday's 94-85 win.
Dwight Howard is averaging 18.5 points, 17.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in those matchups after scoring 26 points with 20 boards on Friday.
The Magic have won 12 in a row in this series with Howard in the lineup.
The All-Star center could get another look at Bucks rookie Jon Leuer with Drew Gooden possibly missing a third consecutive game with a sprained right wrist and sore knee.
While that could leave a big hole in the Milwaukee frontcourt, forward Ersan Ilyasova has been outstanding over the last five games, averaging 18.0 points and 12.8 rebounds.
He had career bests with 29 points and 25 rebounds - tying Howard for the most in the NBA this season - in Sunday's 92-85 victory at New Jersey.
The Bucks (13-18) had lost four in a row.
"We played much better as a team," said Ilyasova, who has 31 points and 26 rebounds versus Orlando this season. "We shared the ball and everybody put forward a hell of an effort to win the game.''
Milwaukee, though, has dropped five in a row at home since opening 7-2 at the Bradley Center.
The Bucks' last six-game home skid was an 0-7 stretch from Feb. 5-25, 2000.
Jason Richardson helped the Magic win their second straight in Milwaukee earlier this month with a career-high nine 3-pointers and 31 points, but the veteran guard is questionable after sitting out Sunday with chest pain that started Saturday night.
"Once I took that step and started to run (on Sunday), I knew it wasn't heartburn," Richardson said. "They said (he should sit out) 24 hours to two days, so we'll see how it goes (Monday).''
If Richardson can't go, the Bucks will still have to deal with one of the league's best long-range shooters in Ryan Anderson. The fourth-year forward - the NBA leader in 3-pointers (93) and attempts (212) - is 5 for 13 from beyond the arc against Milwaukee this season and is averaging 16.0 points and 8.0 boards.
Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings has 21 total points on 7-for-34 shooting in those losses. His shooting percentage is 32.4 in 11 games this month.
- Orlando Magic
- the Bucks