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Magic vs. Bucks GameThread

The Magic look to extend their winning streak vs. the similarly-hot Bucks.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that the Orlando Magic may be improving, but that change could be too little, too late. The Magic haven't had a four-game winning streak since Frank Vogel took over as head coach – as their last time with four or more wins in a row came from Nov. 25 through Dec. 3 of 2015 with a five-game win streak that lead to Scott Skiles being named the head coach of the month in December.

Though that win streak was exhilarating, this one may be ultimately fruitless, as the Magic were squarely in the running for the worst record in the league before reeling off three straight. Still, it has was impressive that the injury-ridden Magic squad beat two playoff teams in the Heat and Cavaliers without three of their top six scorers on a points per game basis, as Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Terrence Ross remain sidelined for this tilt with Milwaukee.

The Bucks may create a different kind of challenge, however, as their slow-moving attack capitalizes on mistakes and relies on the nearly unguardable Giannis Antetokounmpo to manufacture offense. The Bucks are No. 24 in the league in pace, but No. 9 in fastbreak points and No. 5 in field goal percentage. The Milwaukee offense is proficient in winning the turnover battle, as they are top-seven in both blocks and steals while ranking No. 6 in fewest turnovers per game. They also get to the free throw line well, checking in at No. 7 in the league. Milwaukee has been on a tear recently, as they are 7-2 since Joe Prunty took over for Jason Kidd.

If the Magic's best path to beat Bucks is through limiting their turnovers, where they rank No. 17, and winning the rebounding battle, where the Bucks rank dead last in the league. They will need to limit Giannis to taking jumpers, as he thrives on close buckets and at the free throw line.

Line: MIL -4.5


Orlando — Aaron Gordon (Hip) – OUT; Jonathan Isaac (Ankle) – OUT; Terrence Ross (MCL) – OUT; Nikola Vucevic (Hand) – OUT

Milwaukee — Malcolm Brogdon (Quad) – OUT; Matthew Dellavedova (Ankle) – OUT; Mirza Teletovic (Lung) – OUT