Preview: Boston At Orlando
When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, November 29, 2015
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
The Orlando Magic have clinched their first winning month since March of 2012 and attempt to go over .500 for the first time this season when the Boston Celtics pay a visit on Sunday. The Magic won their second straight with a new starting lineup on Friday in a 114-90 rout of Milwaukee while improving to 8-6 in November.
“It’s very encouraging,” Orlando’s leading scorer Evan Fournier told the Orlando Sentinel. “But, you know, we can’t be satisfied. We have to keep going, keep playing that way. The work starts to play off, but we’ve got to keep building.” Fournier (sore hip) is questionable as the Magic go for their eighth win in 12 games while the Celtics come in with two straight wins. Isaiah Thomas leads the way for an improving Boston squad, which came out aggressive and rolled over Washington 111-78 on Friday. The Celtics were seventh in the league in scoring defense (96.9) entering Saturday’s games after finishing at 101.4 in 2014-15.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), FSN Florida (Orlando)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (9-7): Thomas, who will play his 300th NBA game, had 21 points in 31 minutes against Washington after pouring in 30 against Philadelphia and tops the team in scoring (21.2) and assists (5.9). Fellow guard Avery Bradley is the only other player scoring more than 12 points (15.4) after draining 15 from 3-point range the past four contests. Center Jared Sullinger snapped out of a mini-scoring slump with 18 on Friday after reaching double figures once in the previous seven games.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (8-8): Victor Oladipo averaged 20.5 points in 25 minutes coming off the bench in the last two games and dished out nine assists against Milwaukee. The change may be helping space the floor better for point guard Elfrid Payton, who made 16-of-24 shots in the last two contests after missing all seven against Cleveland. Fournier (17.7 points) rebounded from a season low-matching three against New York by scoring 17 on Friday while Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic each average 14.9.
1. Each of the last seven meetings have been won by the home team, including four last season.
2. Boston F David Lee had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in 17 minutes Friday after not scoring in two of the previous three games.
3. Orlando F Channing Frye moved into the starting lineup when Oladipo went to bench and has made 4-of-7 from 3-point range the last two games.
PREDICTION: Magic 98, Celtics 94