Game time: 6 p.m. TV: FOX Sports Florida (pregame at 5:30)
The Philadelphia 76ers have seen their faint playoff hopes fade even further during a miserable stretch that includes a loss to the Orlando Magic.
The 76ers will try to avenge that defeat and snap their longest road losing streak in 25 seasons in Sunday’s rematch with the Magic.
Philadelphia lost for the 11th time in 12 games Friday, falling 102-93 at Miami. The 76ers (23-38) led by as many as nine points in the third quarter, but the Heat went on a 17-4 run in the final period en route to their 17th consecutive win.
“Every loss stings at this point in the season. We’ve just got to keep fighting and keep trying to find our way,” said Thaddeus Young, who had a team-best 25 points on 12-of-15 shooting. “We’ve got to move on to the next game. At the end of the day, we have a job to do. We’ve still got to go out there and try to win games.”
Philadelphia’s 12 consecutive road losses – its longest such skid since a franchise-worst 20 straight road defeats in 1987-88 – have helped drop the club well behind Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Another loss to Orlando (17-46) wouldn’t help the 76ers’ cause. Philadelphia shot 39.5 percent in a 98-84 home defeat to the Magic on Feb. 26, and Evan Turner was the team’s only starter in double figures with 10 points.
“Sunday’s game is definitely a big game,” Young said. “(Orlando is) one of the teams we should have beaten and could have beaten. We just didn’t get the win. We played poorly that game.”
The Magic are 1-5 since that victory, which is one of just five wins in their last 38 games. They’ve dropped seven straight at home – their longest skid in Orlando since the 2003-04 season – and were blown out 115-86 by visiting Indiana on Friday.
Orlando committed a season-high 21 turnovers and was outscored 50-26 in the paint in its 18th defeat in 20 home games. With 19 points, Arron Afflalo was the only Magic player with more than 12.
“We just didn’t come out the right way,” center Nikola Vucevic said. “They jumped on us. They played more aggressive on both ends of the court, and we didn’t respond.”
Vucevic, who played for Philadelphia last season, had 12 points and 19 rebounds in last month’s win over the 76ers, Orlando’s 23rd in the last 29 matchups including the postseason. The Magic played much better in that game after shooting a season-low 33.8 percent in a 78-61 defeat in Philadelphia on Feb. 4.
The 76ers have lost three straight and nine of 10 in the regular season at Orlando, falling by a combined 29 points in two visits last season.