Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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NBA Preview: Orlando Magic (26-36) at Milwaukee Bucks (44-17)

In their most recent outing, the Milwaukee Bucks started slowly but eventually found their feet and extended their winning streak to 15 games.

When they take on the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night, the Bucks, who lead the NBA, will try to get off to a faster start.

On Tuesday, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as Milwaukee defeated the Brooklyn Nets 118-104. For the Bucks, who overcame a 15-point deficit by outscoring the Nets 66-42 in the second half, the two-time NBA MVP made 15 of 27 shots from the floor.

Khris Middleton, a reserve for Milwaukee, scored 18 points and had six assists, while Jrue Holiday scored 14 points and had eight, respectively. The Bucks’ current winning streak is the fourth longest in the franchise’s history, and it is only five wins short of matching the team’s winning streak from 1970 to 1971.

Milwaukee returns to its home turf, where it has won 10 games in a row and 26 of 31 games overall. The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Bucks 138-109 on Jan. 6 at Fiserv Forum.

In Milwaukee’s 109-102 victory over Orlando on Dec. 5, Antetokounmpo scored 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Holiday added 17 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds.

Franz Wagner led the Magic with 25 points in that game, and rookie Paolo Banchero led with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists.

In the second half of Orlando’s 101-93 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, Banchero scored 20 of his 29 points, including three mid-range jumpers and two free throws in the final four minutes. He also helped set up Wagner’s floater, which clinched the victory with 24.2 seconds left.

Banchero also credited the focus on his team’s side of the court. After all, in eight of their past twelve games, the Magic have held their opponent to fewer than 110 points.

Jonathan Isaac could make his Orlando return to the lineup on Wednesday. After missing the previous two games because of a strained right hamstring, Isaac is listed as questionable to face Milwaukee.

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