Both Florida NBA teams are in action tonight. The Orlando Magic are taking on the Los Angeles Clippers while the Miami Heat face the Houston Rockets.
Orlando has been on a skid lately, dropping 21 of their last 23 contests. Their last game was a 78-61 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. During that stretch, the Magic have been plagued with several injuries.
Arron Afflalo, J.J. Reddick, Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson and DeQuan Jones have all suffered injuries. Afflalo is Orlando’s leading scorer.
Orlando Center Nikola Vucevic said that the team is not letting the injuries bring down their morale.
Los Angeles is also having injury problems of its own as Blake Griffin is now out due to a strained left hamstring. Chris Paul will not play due to a bruised kneecap. That puts LA’s scoring, rebounding and assists leaders out of the game.
The Clippers are having trouble making it into the win column lately as they’ve dropped five of their last seven, which includes a 98-90 loss to the Washington Wizards.
Both teams are hoping that a win tonight will help get them moving in the right direction. The game tips off at 7 p.m. from the Amway Center in Orlando.
The Miami Heat are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They’re leading the Eastern Conference by just a half game over the New York Knicks.
This is the second game of a five game homestand for the Heat. They defeated Charlotte 99-94 on Monday to bring their overall record up to 31-14.
The play of Lebron James has been a big factor contributing to Miami’s success. James is averaging 26.7 points, seven assists and 8.3 rebounds per game. Just against the Rockets, James is putting up 30.8 points per game since joining the Heat in 2010.
Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra believes that James is able to manage the game from the court like an assistant manager. He added that Lebron is always aware of others touches and expressed admiration of his ability to do that and still score as many point as he does.
The Houston Rockets are also playing well as of late as they tied an NBA record in their last game against Golden State. While pouring it on against the Warriors to win 140-109, the Rockets hit 23 shots from beyond the arc, tying the record previously set by Orlando in 2009.
James Harden is leading Houston in scoring with 25 points per game. However, the play of Jeremy Lin has also helped the Rockets to win five of their last six games. Lin has scored 20 or more points in two of the past three games.
Gator alum Chandler Parsons has also played well in the past few games averaging 17.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game in his last five games.
Tip off for the match between Miami and Houston is set for 7:30 p.m.