Instant Replay: Magic 98, Sixers 84

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Instant Replay: Magic 98, Sixers 84

BOX SCORE

The Orlando Magic had won just three times in their last 31 games coming into Tuesday night’s tilt against the Sixers. They had dropped 10 straight road games and were a dismal 15-41 overall for the season.

The Sixers were back at the Wells Fargo Center trying to snap a five-game losing streak.

Orlando is a young team that just isn’t good enough and yet was absolutely better than the Sixers on this night.

The Sixers did not defend and could not make shots in a 98-84 defeat. They are now 22-33 on the season and dropped a season-high six straight games.

Turning point
The Magic started the third quarter on an 11-0 run and shot 6 of 7 from the floor. They then started the fourth quarter on a 13-3 run. They led by 17 points with 9:18 to play.

This happened two days after the Sixers allowed the Knicks to post a 17-2 run to start the second quarter.

Follow the leader
Aaron Afflalo led the Magic with 16 points. Andrew Nicholson scored 13 points, and the Magic shot 54 percent from the floor as a team.

Newly-acquired guard Tobias Harris came off the Magic bench and also scored 16 points.

Damien Wilkins and Jeremy Pargo led the Sixers in scoring with 14 points each. Dorell Wright added 11 points and Evan Turner scored 10 points, six of which came at the foul line. Turner attempted a career-high 10 free throws.

Jrue Holiday handed out 10 assists to go with nine points.

Stat-egic
All five Magic starters scored in double figures. Meanwhile, Turner was the only Sixer starter to reach double digits with his 10 points. The Sixers’ other four starters combined for 26 points.

Take a bow
Nik Vucevic and Maurice Harkless had their NBA beginnings with the Sixers. Vucevic was selected 16th overall in the 2011 draft and Harkless was taken 15th overall last summer. Both players became expendable in the summer when the Sixers made the trade for Andrew Bynum.

Tuesday night, Vucevic led all rebounders with 19. He averages 11.4 boards per game for the season, fourth highest in the league. He also scored 12 points for his 32nd double-double of the season. By comparison, the Sixers' Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen combined for only three rebounds.

Harkless was 3 of 4 from the floor for 10 points and grabbed four rebounds.

What’s next?
The Sixers now travel to Chicago for a nationally-televised game against the Bulls on Thursday.

The Bulls are still without Derrick Rose, who has been sidelined with a knee injury that took place in Game 1 of the playoffs last spring against the Sixers.

Sixers-Grizzlies 5 things: Walking wounded duel in Memphis

Sixers-Grizzlies 5 things: Walking wounded duel in Memphis

The Sixers (4-17) open a three-game road trip against the Memphis Grizzlies (14-8) at FedEx Forum on Tuesday night (8 p.m./TCN and CSNPhilly.com).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Walking wounded
There will be enough players between both teams for the Sixers and Grizzlies to play on Tuesday ... barely.

The Sixers, losers of seven straight, have several key players sidelined for the opener of this road trip. The biggest absence will obviously be Joel Embiid, who will sit out for rest after struggling Monday in the first game of the back-to-back set.

Joining Embiid on the shelf for Tuesday's game will be Jahlil Okafor and Robert Covington while Jerryd Bayless is questionable to suit up. That's in addition to Ben Simmons and Nerlens Noel having yet to play this season.

The Sixers won't find much sympathy in Memphis as the Grizzlies' injury situation is actually worse.

After using an NBA record 28 different players last season because of injury, the Grizzlies have already received a hardship exemption from the league this year to sign guard Toney Douglas. That's because the Grizz are currently down five players, including star guard Mike Conley and swingman Chandler Parsons.

2. One big problem
One player who will be suiting up for the Grizzlies is Marc Gasol, which is certainly bad news for the Sixers.

Now in his ninth season, Gasol is playing some of his best basketball. Despite the center's rebounds dipping to 5.7 a game, he is putting up career highs in points (18.9) and assists (4.2).

The Sixers know all too well just how good Gasol has been this season. The two-time All-Star went off for 27 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks in the Grizzlies' double-overtime win over the Sixers on the night before Thanksgiving.

That was before the Sixers got hit even harder by the injury bug. There's no telling what Gasol will do against a team with one available center in Richaun Holmes.

3. Foul play
With so many players not able to take the floor, the Sixers -- Holmes in particular -- would be wise to stay out of foul trouble.

The Sixers average 22.0 fouls per game, the fifth-highest mark in the league.

On the flip side, the Sixers could benefit from attacking the Grizzlies. Memphis is obviously limited with players because of its own injury issues and actually averages 23.8 fouls per game, the second-highest rate in the NBA.

4. Injuries
Bayless (wrist) is questionable. Embiid (rest), Okafor (illness), Covington (knee/illness), Noel (knee) and Simmons (foot) are out for the Sixers.

Zach Randolph (personal) is a game-time decision. Conley (back), Parsons (knee), Vince Carter (hip), James Ennis (calf) and Brandan Wright (ankle) are out for the Grizzlies.

5. This and that
- The Sixers have lost eight straight to the Grizzlies.

- The Grizzlies are 10-0 in games decided by five points or less or have reached overtime.

- The Sixers are 1-6 in games Embiid has sat out this season.

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Elton Brand is back with the Sixers, albeit not on the court.

The Sixers agreed with the former NBA forward to name Brand Player Development Consultant. In a press release, the team said Brand will be working with Sixers players in 'every facet of their on- and off-court development' while also working in the front office.

“We are extremely excited to bring Elton Brand back into the organization where he will be a valuable resource to our young and developing team," Bryan Colangelo said in the release. "Elton’s leadership and character displayed throughout his playing career as a player align perfectly with our vision, direction and culture of this basketball team, coaching staff and management group."

Brand retired during training camp after 17 NBA seasons, including five with the Sixers over two stints. The 6-foot-8 forward came out of retirement last season to provide a veteran presence for the Sixers and eventually played in 17 games when the team was snakebitten by injuries. 

He will now continue to be an influence on the Sixers' young core thanks to his new role with the basketball operations department.