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3:30 PM PT4:30 PM MT5:30 PM CT6:30 PM ET22:30 GMT6:30 3:30 PM MST5:30 PM EST2:30 UAE (+1)00:3018:30 ET5:30 PM CT21:30 , August 7, 2020
HP Field House, Kissimmee, Florida

Banged-up Sixers, Magic set for bubble battle

According to STATS
According to STATS

Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers

  1. Orlando is 2-0 against the Sixers this season, winning meetings in November and December (both at home). The Magic have won four of their last five games against the Sixers after losing four in a row from November 2017 to October 2018.
  2. The Magic are trying to complete their sixth season series sweep of Philadelphia in franchise history, and the first since 2009-10. Orlando has recorded more season series sweeps of just two Eastern Conference opponents in their history: Brooklyn (7) and Washington (7).
  3. After winning their first two games in the bubble, the Magic have lost two in a row, including a 109-99 defeat to Toronto on Wednesday. The two losses came following a season-high five-game winning streak spanning to before the league suspension.
  4. The Sixers defeated Washington 107-98 on Wednesday, ending a run of 20 straight games allowing 100+ points. It was the longest such run for the Sixers in a single season since January 9 to February 17, 1973 (23 straight).
  5. Terrence Ross scored 15 points off the bench to match Evan Fournier for most points for the Magic in Orlando's loss to the Raptors. Ross has had at least a share of the team-high scoring honors 11 times this season, behind only Evan Fournier (23) and Nikola Vucevic (19) despite not starting a game this season.
  6. Ben Simmons will miss at least the Sixers' game against Orlando with a knee injury. Philadelphia is 6-5 without Simmons this season with all six victories coming against teams under .500.

The Philadelphia 76ers' hopes of a deep playoff run are in jeopardy.

All-Star Ben Simmons limped to the locker room with a knee injury during Wednesday's win over the Washington Wizards, and the diagnosis is a partially dislocated left kneecap. Simmons will remain out indefinitely.

He won't play when the host Sixers (41-27) look for their third straight victory against the Orlando Magic on Friday at the NBA bubble near Orlando. It's unclear if Simmons will be sidelined for the entire postseason.

Simmons was injured in the third quarter of what turned out to be a 107-98 win over the Wizards. X-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging test both initially came back negative.

"Some of the information is fluid," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "It's just that the stuff is still being evaluated."

Joel Embiid carried the Sixers over the Wizards with 30 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

"He just grabbed the gym, grabbed the game," Brown said of Embiid. "He's passing out of the double team at a highly efficient rate."

The Sixers have struggled on both ends of the court in the three games despite holding a 2-1 record. They allowed more than 40 points in the fourth quarter in a loss to the Indiana Pacers and then again in a win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Indiana's T.J. Warren exploded for a career-high 53 points.

"We've started the three games very inconsistent," Brown said. "We do some good things offensively, defensively and then you see some head-scratching stuff. ... We're trending in the right direction, just not as quickly as I'd like."

Like the Sixers, the Magic are also dealing with an injury to a key player -- Aaron Gordon.

In Wednesday's 109-99 loss to the defending champion Toronto Raptors, Kyle Lowry committed a hard foul on Gordon, who left the game in the third quarter with left hamstring tightness.

Gordon's injury doesn't appear to be a long-term issue, according to reports, though he's expected to sit out against the Sixers.

"It would be a huge hit for us," Magic head coach Steve Clifford said if the injury keeps Gordon sidelined for awhile.

The team is already without forward Jonathan Isaac after he tore his ACL last week.

Evan Fournier scored 15 points for the Magic, who fell to 32-37 but remain as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, a half-game behind the Brooklyn Nets.

"They're obviously champions," Fournier said of the Raptors. "Fouls are part of basketball. Was (the foul on Gordon) nice? No. But who cares? I mean, it was a foul. It was called flagrant one. There's just not much to say."

Aside from Gordon, the Magic's offense sputtered against Toronto's stifling defense. They managed only 35 points in the first half and trailed by 20. The 35 points were a season low for points in a half.

There's some bright news on the injury front, however, as Michael Carter-Williams (tendon in left foot) is likely to be available.

The Magic are very close to officially clinching a playoff berth. One Magic victory or a loss by the Wizards will seal the playoff spot, as both teams have four games remaining.

--Field Level Media

Updated August 6, 2020

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