Living on The Road
The Orlando Magic have learned to feel at home on the road this season. To get a victory in their next stop, they'll have to beat a team fresh off its most lopsided win in 25 years.
Orlando looks for its sixth win in seven games on Friday when it travels to Philadelphia, where the 76ers are coming off a 43-point victory.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Orlando –4 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 198.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 89% of bets for this game have been placed on Orlando –4 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
The Magic (29-18) have played - and won - more road games than any other NBA team, going 17-10 away from Amway Arena. However, they've had more trouble recently, with four losses in their last five road games.
Meanwhile, the Sixers (18-28) have won consecutive games for the first time in more than a month, including a 112-69 rout of Milwaukee on Wednesday night - their most lopsided win since Dec. 8, 1982.
"That was a great game for us from start to finish,'' Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said.
Orlando got 27 points and 12 rebounds from Hedo Turkoglu in its latest win, 107-91 at home over Miami on Wednesday.
"I hope to keep playing like I did (against the Heat)," said Turkoglu, who is averaging a career-high 19.4 points - nearly double his career norm. "Just to do my best for the team, to get a 'W.'"
During the Magic's last six games, Turkoglu has averaged 24.8 points and 6.5 rebounds, and he also hit a game-winning 3-pointer to beat NBA-best Boston on Sunday.
On Wednesday, Orlando got point guard Jameer Nelson back from a strained foot that had shelved him for five games. Nelson, who grew up in Philadelphia and was an All-American at St. Joseph's, came off the bench in his first game back.
Dwight Howard, the East's All-Star starter at center and the NBA's leading rebounder (14.9 per game), also leads the league with 41 double-doubles, including 11 in his last 12 games.
Howard had a career-high 26 boards against the Sixers on April 15, 2006.
Despite being 10 games below .500 and going 4-11 in January, the Sixers are within two games of a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.
When it has won this season, Cheeks' team has typically done it with defense. Philadelphia is in the league's top 10 in scoring defense, allowing 95.8 points per game, and over its last four games has yielded an average of just 85.0.
One of the Sixers' big problems has been their woeful shooting from beyond the arc. They make just 31.6 percent of their 3-pointers, on pace to be the worst percentage in the league in the last three seasons.
Philadelphia leading scorer Andre Iguodala isn't any better from 3-point range - he's shooting 31.1 percent - but he hasn't had much trouble scoring, averaging 22.2 points over his last six games.
Samuel Dalembert, meanwhile, may be able to challenge Howard on the boards. The 6-foot-11 center is averaging 12.0 points and 12.1 rebounds over his last 13 games.
The Magic have won four of five against the Sixers overall and three straight in Philadelphia.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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