NBA action the day after Christmas has the Orlando Magic (1-0) taking on the Washington Wizards (0-1) as these Eastern Conference foes in the Southwest Division face off in the Nation's capital. Saturday will be game one of the two game series as these teams will play again on Sunday.
Orlando's overall record last season was (33-40) and they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in first round of the playoffs. The Magic were able to take game one in the series but would the next four games to the Bucs to end their season.
The Washington Wizards tallied a 25-47 record last year, and dropped seven of their last eight games to end the season on a bit of a nose dive. The Wizards parted ways with John Wall, and Russell Westbrook is now a Washington Wizard along side Bradley Beal.
Orlando Beat Heat In Game OneThe Orlando Magic opened the season as a 4.5 point underdog against the defending Eastern Conference Champs, and the Magic took down the Miami Heat 113-107 on Wednesday. The Heat actually led 83-79 after three periods, but Evan Fournier nailed a go-ahead three pointer late in the game, and another layup in the final minute to finish with 25 points in the Orlando victory.
The Magic had five players score in double figures to beat the Heat. Aaron Gordon contributed 20 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes on 8 of 11 shooting. Terrance Ross played 29 minutes and was able to put up 19 points in the Magic's win. Nikola Vucevic grabbed 11 rebounds and also had 15 points while newcomer Markelle Fultz put up 15 points in his Orlando debut.
Orlando's injuries against the Wizards include James Ennis III, Al-Farouq Amini, and Jonathan Isaac is out for the season with an ACL injury.
Westbrooks Debuts With Triple DoubleOne of the biggest blockbuster trades of the offseason was former Wizard John Wall getting traded to the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook. Westbrook in his typical fashion recorded a triple-double scoring 21 points, 15 assists, and 11 rebounds. What's more impressive is he only needed three quarters to do it.
In the post game interview on ESPN.com Westbrook said, "Not good enough. I'm kind of disappointed in myself. There were plays where I could have had a better game."
Both Westbrook and longtime Wizard Bradley Beal both played 36 minutes and Beal led the Wizards in scoring in the loss to the Sixers putting up 31 points. The Wizards were beating Philadelphia by one point at the half, and also into the third quarter, but let the 76ers score 40 points in the fourth quarter to eventually loose 113-107.
Washington's Rui Hachimura is out for the game against the Magic due to an illness.
- Wizards are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite.
- Magic are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.