The Orlando Magic return home tonight as the Kings come to the Magic Kingdom in a clash of two lottery bound teams.
The tip time off time from the 407 is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 11pm here in the U.K. (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando). For U.K. fans this is the last of our earlier tip times as don’t forget we put the clocks forward by one hour overnight for the start of British Summer Time (so expect the weather to get worse!).
To watch the game live or on demand you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
And now it is time to take a look at the matchup between these two teams.
Season Record And Last Time Out
The Orlando Magic
There is no point in sugarcoating this, last time out Orlando were a tired team on the second night of a back-to-back. The efforts against Golden State, arriving in Oklahoma at 3am to play that night showed. The game saw Orlando lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 102-118 as OKC’s bench outscored Orlando’s by 52-26. It broke a 10 game losing slide for the Thunder and saw “Magic tankers” rejoicing in defeat.
All five Magic starters scored in double-digits, being led by Chuma Okeke with 19 points. Cole Anthony had a strong double-double with 17 points and 11 assists. Franz Wagner scored 15 points and brother Moritz led the bench with 13 points. Mo Bamba recorded a 11 point and 10 rebound double-double game and RJ Hampton rounded out the double digit scoring with 14 points.
Orlando now have a record for the season of 20 wins and 54 losses, with now just 8 games remaining. The Magic are last in the Eastern Conference. Over the last 10 games played the Magic have won 4. The home record stands at 10 wins of 36 games played. On the road the record is 10 wins in 38 games played. Points per game sees the Magic scoring 104.1, whilst conceding 111.9.
The Sacramento Kings
The Kings also last played on Wednesday night, taking a 110-109 road win over the Indiana Pacers. The game winning shot came with 0.2 left on the clock from Damian Jones. The team were led by Davion Mitchell with 25 points. Chimezie Meta led the bench with 22 points.
Sacramento have a 26-48 losing record and sit 13th in the Western Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Kings have won 3. Road form has not been great, winning only 10 of 35 played. They score an average 110.5 points per game, whilst conceding 115.8.
Head-To-Head – The Sacramento Kings
The all time head-to-head record in the 65 regular season games played sees the Magic losing by 30-35.
The meeting in Sacramento at the season start saw the Kings edge out the Magic by 130-142 in a game that exploded offensively but where little defence was played.
Last season (2020-21) saw the series split 1-1 with both teams winning on home court.
In season 2019-20 the Magic took an overdue pair of wins, to take the series 2-0, with the Kings having won the previous 5 encounters.
These two teams have never met in the playoffs.
Our Opponents – The Sacramento Kings
The Kings Head Coach Alvin Gentry has not had an easy time since joining the team and this is now a very different looking team to that we faced in early December.
Of this new Sacramento squad starting talent De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes, Terence Davis and Domantas Sabonis are shown on ESPN as being out.
Last Starting Lineup – Davion Mitchell (PG), Justin Holiday (SG), Harrison Barnes (SF), Trey Lyles (PF), Damian Jones (C)
From The Bench – Chimeze Metu, Donte DiVincenzo, Jeremy Lamb, Alex Len, Maurice Harkless (DNP), Neemias Queta (DNP), Josh Jackson (DNP)
The Orlando Magic Lineup And Injury Report
Coach Jamahl Mosely will have an additional player available tonight as Markelle Fultz returns.
Final Thoughts As The Kings Come To The Magic Kingdom
Lets touch on the subject of the tanking. A loss for Orlando will again see some fans happy in pursuit of having a record that provides the best chance of the number 1 pick. I get it but just can not cheer a loss for the team I support. Some see any win at this point of the season in our position as pointless, others see real game experience.
Looking back to the win over the Warriors in our previous home game is case in point. Anyone who has worked in a pressure environment will tell you training is valuable but it does not replace the real thing. Training can not replicate the feeling of closing a tight game out against quality opposition. Nor will it replicate the pressure of taking game winning free throws in front of a large crowd, whilst being trash talked at.
Orlando will play tough D, serving them well since All Star. They will continue to develop a greater understanding of playing with Fultz handling the ball offensively. Wendell will be a huge loss on the boards. It can not be understated how important he has become. His development has been stellar, seeing him sitting with 32 double-doubles. That tally is tied with Chris Paul and Jarrett Allen, with only 13 players having produced more.
Whilst Sacramento are not at full strength there is danger, with good players available. They seek to get to the free throw line as they attack inside the arc heavily. However they are vulnerable to Orlando’s fast paced game and rebounding prowess.
Tonight is another opportunity for a developing team to gain knowledge. It is another game for Markelle to continue his return. Win or lose there is value for the Magic in pushing hard.
Let’s Go Magic!