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Magic vs. Mavericks GameThread

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Orlando takes on Dallas in a match-up of two lottery-bound organizations playing on the second night of a back-to-back

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic host the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night in a match-up of two teams that are separated near the bottom of the NBA standings by a half game.

Both teams will be playing tonight on the second night of a back-to-back. The Magic were victorious last night inside Madison Square Garden, defeating the Knicks 97-73. New York scored 28 total points in the second half Tuesday night.

The Magic finished the game last night with most of their second unit on the floor, plus starter Mario Hezonja (who was inserted into the starting lineup due to Jonathan Isaac being held out of the contest).

Hezonja scored 11 points in the fourth quarter (19 in the game) to lead the Magic towards their 23rd win of the season (which temporarily moved Orlando from the fourth to the fifth worst record in the NBA).

The Mavs, who arrived in Orlando very early Wednesday morning, scored a 115-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday. Dennis Smith Jr. scored 18 points and Harrison Barnes added 15 points against Portland.

Smith Jr. (knee), Barnes (rest), and Dwight Powell are all being held out Wednesday against the Magic.

Dirk Nowitzki, soon to be finishing his 20th season in the NBA, will also be sitting out.

For Orlando, rookie Jonathan Isaac will again be out of action with a sore left ankle. The Magic will also be without Jonathon Simmons (wrist), Evan Fournier (knee), and Terrence Ross (knee).

To many, it appears that all these two organizations have left to play for this season is to try and secure more ping-pong balls. The Magic currently hold the fourth-best NBA lottery odds, but the Mavericks are only one game ahead of them in the win column (are tied in the loss column).

According to Tankathon.com, the fourth-worst team in the NBA is awarded a 37.8% chance of garnering a Top-3 pick in this June's draft (11.9% chance at the top overall pick). The fifth-worst team's odds of selecting in the Top-3 drops to 29.1% (8.8% chance at the top pick).

So in short, the game might get pretty ugly tonight, but the result does carry some serious implications.

Dallas has defeated Orlando 11 of their last 12 meetings.

As always, leave your pregame and in-game comments below. Also, follow along on Twitter: @OPPMagicBlog. Enjoy!

Dallas Mavericks (24-54, Won 1 in a row) @ Orlando Magic (23-54, Won 1 in a row)

April 4th, 2018

Amway Center

7:00 P.M. EST

TV: Fox Sports Florida

PROJECTED STARTERS:

J.J. Barea

PG

D.J. Augustin

Aaron Harrison

SG

Wes Iwundu

Dorian Finney-Smith

SF

Mario Hezonja

Maxi Kleber

PF

Aaron Gordon

Johnathan Motley

C

Bismack Biyombo

DALLAS

ORLANDO

95.7 (25th of 30)

PACE

98.1 (11th of 30)

106.5 (24th of 30)

O-RTG

105.5 (25th of 30)

109.2 (16th of 30)

D-RTG

110.0 (19th of 30)