Monday , Mar , 21 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Orlando Magic Team Report – March 21

=== Orlando Magic Team Report – March 21 ===

(Sports Network) – Life without Steve Francis continues for the Orlando Magic
this evening, when they close out a five-game road against the lowly Charlotte
Bobcats at Charlotte Coliseum. It will be the first of a home-and-home between
these teams which will finish up on Thursday in Orlando.

Francis is suspended indefinitely for kicking a photographer during Friday’s
contest against Seattle. The NBA is currently investigating the incident and
should put a firm length of suspension into effect in the next few days.

Orlando got its first win under interim head coach Chris Jent on Saturday, as
it tallied a 97-92 victory over Portland at the Rose Garden. Grant Hill netted
a team-high 23 points to lead Orlando to the win.

DeShawn Stevenson netted 16 for the Magic, who halted a seven-game losing
streak, while Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu contributed 15 points apiece in
the win. Dwight Howard pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. Howard shot just
2-of-11 from the field.

Stevenson will need to continue his solid play to help replace Francis’ 21.4
points, 6.9 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest. Nelson will need
to pick up some of the slack as well.

Orlando shot 42 percent from the floor and connected on 14-of-17 from the free
throw line. The Magic outrebounded Portland 49-42.

Orlando has lost 10 of 12 and 12 of its last 15 road games, falling to 11-24
in foreign buildings.

The Magic has slipped into a tie with Philadelphia for eighth place in the
Eastern Conference. Orlando has already completed its season series against
the Sixers, splitting four games.

The teams have split a pair of meetings with the home team winning both
games. Charlotte registered a 111-100 victory over the Magic at Charlotte
Coliseum on Nov.6.

Following tonight’s contests, the Magic will have consecutive days off before
hosting Charlotte on Thursday. Orlando will also host Phoenix (Saturday) this