Thursday, April 25, 2024
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NBA Preview: Orlando Magic (28-41) at Phoenix Suns (37-32)

Few contending teams are as uneasy as the Phoenix Suns with just a few weeks left in the NBA regular season.

The Phoenix Suns’ journey continues on Thursday when they take on the visiting Orlando Magic, who have lost two of their last three games.

Phoenix has dropped three straight following a four-game series of wins. The Suns are 1-3 since star Kevin Durant hyper-extended his left lower leg during pregame warmups on Walk 8. The 13-time Top pick will be rethought in around fourteen days.

Phoenix has struggled to consistently score outside of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton since Durant has been sidelined. In Tuesday’s 116-104 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the pair scored 46 points together.

Phoenix is fourth in the Western Conference with a record of 37-32, but without Kevin Durant, the team’s identity is still a mystery.

Phoenix has attempted to safeguard the 3-point shot in its last three games, and furthermore needs additional creation from job players Josh Okogie, Torrey Craig, Ish Wainright and Terrence Ross. In the defeat against Milwaukee, the group put up a total of 22 points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks’ 24-9 run to win the game. With 36 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, the two-time MVP finished.

Phoenix is attempting to avenge Orlando’s 114-97 defeat on November 11, when the Suns shot just 13 of 42 attempts (31% from three-point range).

The San Antonio Spurs, who made a franchise-high 22 3-pointers and had a season-high 39 assists, started Orlando’s four-game road trip on Tuesday with a 132-114 defeat.

The Magic, who have lost five of their last seven games, were led by 27 points from Paolo Banchero and 16 from Wendell Carter Jr. for the Magic. For a spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament and 10th place, Orlando is four games behind the Washington Wizards.

San Antonio, which shot 56.5 percent from the field and 22 of 41 (53.7 percent) from beyond the arc, has defeated the Magic in 21 of their last 27 meetings.

Orlando, which is 12-22 on the road, has seen Cole Anthony score 15.4 points per game in seven games this month.

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