(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic hope to survive without All-Star Dwight
Howard when they pay a visit to the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.
Howard is expected to miss his fourth consecutive game because of a herniated
disc in his back and he has been sidelined five of the past seven games. The
stalwart defender is averaging 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds this season.
Orlando has dropped two in a row and seven of nine games, including Friday's
109-81 drubbing at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks. Glen Davis and Von Wafer
each netted 16 points for Orlando, which is seeded sixth in the Eastern
Conference -- one-half game behind Boston and one in back of Atlanta.
"There was nothing we did well defensively in that game," Magic head coach
Stan Van Gundy said. "It was a very, very poor defensive effort."
Jason Richardson and Jameer Nelson both had nine points in defeat. The Magic
shot 38.8 percent and will try to work on a 15-13 road mark tonight.
Cleveland is playing out the string and is back home following a 1-1 road trip
at Indiana and Washington.
In Saturday's 98-89 win against the Wizards, Luke Harangody scored 16 points
and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Cavs, who won for the third time in the
previous 15 contests. Harangody was recalled from the Cavs' D-League affiliate
in Canton earlier on Saturday.
"It's night and day since the beginning of the season. My shot right now...I'm
just so confident," Harangody said.
Anthony Parker had 15 points, Tristan Thompson added 14, Donald Sloan finished
with 13 and Alonzo Gee netted 11 in the win. Cavs rookie Kyrie Irving missed
his seventh straight game with an injured shoulder and is not expected to suit
up in the near future. Irving is averaging 18.8 points and 5.7 assists.
Cavs forward Antawn Jamison (rest) did not play against Washington and should
be back in the lineup versus the Magic. He has averages of 17.8 points and 6.4
rebounds this season.
The Cavaliers are 10-19 at Quicken Loans Arena this season and look to avoid
being swept in a season series by Orlando for a second straight year. They
have dropped the first two matchups in 2011-12 and eight in a row overall.
Cleveland is winless in the past three home tilts with the Magic.
The Sports Network