The Orlando Magic opened a five-game road trip with a stunning victory and look to win at another difficult venue when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday. Orlando registered an impressive 95-83 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday but has lost 13 of its 15 visits to Memphis.
The victory over the Spurs halted a four-game overall losing streak for the Magic, who forced 18 turnovers and limited San Antonio to 36.8 percent from the field. The Grizzlies will be shorthanded with point guard Mike Conley (back) out for at least six weeks and were short six players in Wednesday’s 120-105 road loss to the Toronto Raptors. Point guard Aaron Harrison stepped up to go 4-of-5 from 3-point range and score a career-best 21 points after being 1-of-18 from the field over the previous three games. “Losing Mike was big,” Harrison said after the loss. “He’s an MVP candidate in my eyes but we know what we have to do. We have to bring it every night.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), FSN Southeast (Memphis)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (7-11): Orlando was sputtering along before the win in San Antonio, which is easily the team’s best of the season. Center Nikola Vucevic and shooting guard Evan Fournier both talked about the need to build on it and coach Frank Vogel aimed to keep the victory in perspective. “Winning tonight doesn’t turn our season around,” Vogel told reporters. “But it keeps us believing in what we’re doing. If you commit to the defensive end of the floor, you’re going to have a chance to win every night. And if you’re a great defensive team, you’re going to go to the playoffs. It’s a long season.”
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (11-8): Veteran power forward Zach Randolph has missed four straight games after the death of his mother while other players sitting out Wednesday because of injury were swingman Vince Carter (hip), forwards James Ennis (calf) and Chandler Parsons (knee) and post player Brandan Wright (ankle). Memphis coach David Fizdale didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for his team’s situation, seeing it as a challenge. “I see nothing but opportunity and I preach that to our guys,” Fizdale told reporters. “We don’t feel sorry for ourselves.”
1. The Magic halted a nine-game losing streak against the Grizzlies by posting a 119-107 victory April 3.
2. Memphis SG Troy Daniels scored 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting in 21 minutes versus the Raptors after being 4-of-28 shooting entering the contest.
3. Orlando PG Elfrid Payton (ankle) underwent X-rays — they were negative — after being injured against the Spurs and plans to play against Memphis.
PREDICTION: Grizzlies 103, Magic 101