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Reply To: NBA • Tuesday Service Plays • 2/23/16

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Preview: Orlando At Philadelphia

When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Consistency eludes the Orlando Magic, who can’t seem to string together the wins they need to get back into the race in the Eastern Conference. The Magic will try to push past another frustrating loss when they visit the NBA-worst Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

Orlando battled back from a 21-point deficit to earn a win over the Dallas Mavericks in its first game after the All-Star break on Friday but could not muster the same effort in a 105-102 home loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. “It just kind of comes down to little things,” Magic center Nikola Vucevic told reporters, “and with us it’s like history keeps repeating itself with us not doing the little things at the end to finish games off.” The 76ers have fewer short-term goals and continue to be focused on future development. “I often say this in our meetings, ‘If I’m not thinking about the future, who is?’” Philadelphia general manager Stan Hinkie told reporters. “Whose job is that to think about what happens in 12 months or 36 months or, god forbid, 60 months? If it’s not me, tell me who that person is around here to do it.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), CSN Philadelphia

ABOUT THE MAGIC (24-30): Orlando coach Scott Skiles has been honest in his assessment of his team since taking over the job before the season and was not happy about Sunday’s performance. “We just didn’t play a really professional game beginning to end,” Skiles told reporters. “We had a chance to win, but that was almost like a miracle. But the missed layups, the missed free throws, a ton of busted defensive coverages, the turnovers and throwing silly lobs on the break – not a professional performance. We had a chance to win, as I said miraculously, but we couldn’t take advantage of it.” The Magic allowed Dallas to make a franchise-record 19 3-pointers on Friday and let Indiana shoot 50 percent from the field on Sunday.

ABOUT THE 76ERS (8-47): Rookie center Jahlil Okafor found himself in trade rumors last week but Philadelphia ended up keeping him around at the end, and he showed why that was a good decision on Sunday. The Duke product went for a season-high 31 points on 12-of-19 shooting and added eight rebounds in the 129-103 loss at Dallas. Okafor could have used more help from forward Nerlens Noel, who scored 24 points at New Orleans on Friday but was limited to 19 minutes by foul trouble on Sunday and finished with four points and five boards.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Magic F Aaron Gordon has recorded double figures in rebounds in five straight games.

2. 76ers G Nik Stauskas (sore shin) was on a minutes restriction Sunday and ended up with eight points in 20 minutes.

3. Philadelphia picked up a 96-87 win at Orlando on Jan. 20 behind 20 points from Okafor.

PREDICTION: Magic 102, 76ers 99