Solid Defense

The Orlando Magic have been able to solidify their defense in recent weeks, but there aren't many teams that have been able to shut down the Golden State Warriors.

With a chance to exceed their win total from last season, the Magic look to secure a series sweep of the high-scoring Warriors when the teams meet Saturday night.

Oddsmakers from have made Orlando –7.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 230 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 68% of bets for this game have been placed on Golden State +7.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Orlando (40-23) matched its win total from 2006-07 with a 122-92 victory over Washington on Wednesday night. The Magic have won three straight and six of seven, holding opponents to 93.7 points per game in that span. They allowed 100 points or more in six of their previous nine games.

Now, Orlando will face a Golden State team averaging 110.9 points a contest. The Warriors (38-23) have eclipsed the 100-point mark in 25 straight games, including a 134-99 win over Miami on Friday night.

The Magic, however, were able to keep up with the Warriors in the teams' first matchup of the season, winning 123-117 in overtime on Dec. 3. Orlando will try to sweep the season series from Golden State for the first time since winning two games between the teams in 2001-02.

Orlando, which seems assured of the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference because of its nine-game lead in the Southeast Division, has a chance to win 41 games for the first time since going 42-40 in 2002-03.

"We're trying to get as many wins as we can and trying to get a better playoff spot," said Magic swingman Hedo Turkoglu, who has played a large role in the team's resurgence. "If we don't make any stupid mistakes, it looks like we're going to end up in third place."

Against the Wizards, the Magic notched their largest margin of victory this season. Dwight Howard had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Orlando. The All-Star center scored four of his 18 points in the extra session in December's matchup with the Warriors, and has a total of 48 rebounds in his last two games against them.

Orlando guard Keith Bogans, who had 22 points in the first game versus Golden State, has been playing through a strained abdominal muscle. He had 17 points off the bench against Washington.

"Take a little medicine, ice it, and go out there and try not to get hit on it," Bogans said. "It's painful."

Magic point guard Keyon Dooling, meanwhile, has missed three straight games with a sprained left foot. His status for Saturday's contest is uncertain.

Andris Biedrins returned to the Warriors' lineup against the Heat after missing six games following an appendectomy. The 6-foot-11 center, who finished with six points and four rebounds in 18 minutes, will be needed in the paint against Howard.

"I'm going to have to watch his stamina," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "But it's not like he's going to lose his shooting touch from 18 feet."

Chris Webber, who also could be used to help out against Howard, has missed three straight games with a sore left knee. It's uncertain if he will be able to play Saturday.

Even with Biedrins' minutes limited and Webber sidelined, the Warriors scored more points than any team has managed against the Heat all season, topping Chicago's 126 on Jan. 16.

By: Marc Young - - Email Us

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