Magic-Nets Preview

BY foxsports • December 13, 2015

The Orlando Magic attributed some woes to a long road trip and now head to a place where they have never won.

The Magic have dropped all six previous trips to Brooklyn as they get set for Monday night's matchup with a Nets team that has struggled to make 3-pointers all season.

Orlando (12-11) matched the second-worst loss in team history with a 111-76 home defeat to Cleveland on Friday. The Magic shot 38.9 percent in their lowest-scoring effort of the season.

"It happens but it (stinks)," guard Victor Oladipo said. "We just gotta regroup, move on, can't do nothing about it now."

The Magic returned home after a 3-2 trip in which they lost two of the final three games. They have allowed opponents to shoot 46.2 percent in the past four, with the best performance an 85-74 win over Denver last Tuesday in which the Nuggets shot 33.3.

"We were a bit out of it mentally," coach Scott Skiles said. "As you know from being on the road, this is our fourth game in a row now that we haven't been real sharp. We were able to win one of the games but more because Denver played worse than we did, not because we played particularly well."

Orlando is one of two teams yet to win in Brooklyn, along with Sacramento. That list was at three before the Nets (7-16) fell 105-100 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Brooklyn trailed by 14 entering the fourth quarter before a 37-point period was fueled by a lineup that included Andrea Bargnani, who scored all 11 of his points over the final 7:21.

"We're struggling offensively to get some flow sometimes and trying to get the right combinations in the game that can score and also defend a little bit and also rebound a little bit," coach Lionel Hollins said.

The Nets made five of 19 3-pointers and are one of the worst in the league at 30.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Magic defend the 3-pointer well, limiting opponents to 33.2 percent.

Of greater concern to Orlando are some shooting issues for its best players. Evan Fournier has made 32.1 percent in his last four games, a stretch in which Tobias Harris is at 36.4 percent and Oladipo 41.1. The Magic are at a loss for how to remedy it.

"The options are always the same, change the lineup again," Skiles said.

The Nets are hoping Brook Lopez bounces back after two games in which the club's top scorer has totaled 21 points. He's a big reason why they average 46.8 points in the paint, among the league's best marks.

Lopez is averaging 8.2 rebounds for his best mark in the last six seasons. He'll be facing a tough matchup in Nikola Vucevic, who has double-doubles in his past three road games.

"I'm just trying to put myself in a better position," Lopez said. "Coach is on me a lot about putting myself around the basket, being there wherever I can to have an opportunity to get those boards."



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