Wednesday , Jan , 18 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Wizards, Magic tangle in Orlando

(Sports Network) – Two teams headed in different directions meet tonight, as
the struggling Orlando Magic welcome the streaking Washington Wizards to TD
Waterhouse Centre.

Washington will try and extend its season-long winning streak to five games
this evening. On Monday, Caron Butler scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-13-
shooting as the Wizards crushed the Philadelphia 76ers, 104-76, at the MCI

All-Star Gilbert Arenas finished with 22 points, five rebounds and 12 assists
in the win over Philadelphia for the Wizards, who have won five of their last
six games overall. Antawn Jamison chipped in with 21 points and 10 boards,
while Brendan Haywood also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11
rebounds in the victory.

The Wizards are just 7-11 as the visitor this season. They have won two in a
row on the road.

Orlando enters tonight’s contest on a four-game losing streak, as it returns
home after going winless on a four-game road trip. On Sunday, Mike Bibby
scored a career-high 42 points on 13-of-23 shooting from the floor to lead the
Sacramento Kings over the Magic, 104-100, at ARCO Arena.

Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 29 points and dished out nine assists in the
loss to Sacramento, while forward Dwight Howard finished with 18 points and 19
rebounds in defeat.

Grant Hill returned to the lineup on Sunday for Orlando and netted 18 points
on 8-of-17 shooting from the floor. The Duke product missed the previous three
games with a groin injury.

The Magic were without Steve Francis against the Kings, as he remained
suspended by the club for conduct detrimental to the team. However, the Magic
reinstated Francis Monday after the star guard missed two games over the

Francis, a three-time All-Star is expected to be in uniform tonight. He was
suspended last Thursday and sat out losses to Portland and Sacramento. The
former second overall pick is averaging 16.6 points and a team-best 5.4
assists per game.

Orlando is 9-9 as the host this season. The Magic have won four in a row at

This is the third meeting of the season between the clubs. The teams split the
two previous contests, as each squad picked up a victory on its home court.

The home team has won 12 of the last 16 meetings in this series. Washington
has lost 15 of its last 17 at Orlando.