Dwight Howard is the Orlando Magic’s lone All-Star this season,
and the Milwaukee Bucks know all about the center’s exploits.
Orlando is hoping they can begin capitalizing on his production
Howard looks to help the Magic rebound from another overtime
defeat Saturday night when they try to continue their success
against the Bucks.
Howard is averaging 20.9 points and an NBA-leading 15.4
rebounds, so it’s not surprising that he’ll represent the Magic
(16-11) when they host the All-Star game later this month.
Orlando, though, hasn’t been able to capitalize on his strong
play recently, losing twice on a three-game homestand with both
defeats coming in overtime.
Howard is averaging 25.3 points and 18.7 boards in that stretch,
including 18 and 18, respectively, in Friday’s 89-87 overtime
defeat to Atlanta.
“We just didn’t play very well, that’s the bottom line,” coach
Stan Van Gundy said. “We didn’t play very well, but we stuck in
there … We just didn’t get it done in the end.”
Howard’s presence in the paint has made a dramatic difference
for the Magic when they face the Bucks (12-14).
The Magic have won 10 of the last 12 meetings with Milwaukee,
and Howard is averaging 23.6 points and 13.6 rebounds in those
victories. He was out for the two defeats due to an injury and an
Howard continued that dominant trend last season with 25.7
points and 17.0 rebounds during a three-game winning streak after
Orlando lost the first matchup without him.
The Bucks are on the brink of tying their season-high three-game
winning streak, but could use another strong performance from
The point guard had 24 points and eight assists in a 113-112
overtime win at Cleveland on Friday, a night after he was miffed
about not being named a reserve for the All-Star game.
Jennings is trying to temper the firestorm created when he
stated that he’s already “doing my homework” on big-market teams in
an interview with ESPN.com. He’s under contract through next
“It kind of got blown out of proportion a little bit. I never
said I was leaving. I’m not looking to be in any big market or
anything like that. I’m keeping my options open. After being in
this a couple years, I understand the business of basketball.
“I’m still going to be here playing hard every night and my
focus is to get into the playoffs.”
Jennings was criticized for not doing that in Milwaukee’s last
home game Tuesday, scoring a season-low three points and only
putting up four shots in 28-plus minutes in a 107-105 loss to
”I just got in and talked to him,” coach Scott Skiles said
after the loss. ”He looked a bit disconnected. I’m not sure
That certainly wasn’t the case in the Magic’s last visit on
March 16, when Jennings scored 23 points and handed out eight
assists in a 93-89 overtime loss.
Drew Gooden is providing Jennings with some offensive help,
averaging 22.0 points over the last four games – nearly 10 higher
than his season production.
The forward-center averages 15.5 points in 17 career meetings
with the Magic, scoring 18 in a 78-72 loss at Orlando on April
The Bucks and Magic will face each other four times over the
next three weeks.