Orlando Magic visit Suns on NBA betting slate

By: Stephen Nover | Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Orlando Magic have failed to cover their last four contests.

Steve Nash just turned 37 and the Phoenix Suns great point guard is in physical pain.

The Orlando Magic are in mental anguish having blown a 21-point lead in their last game, an overtime road loss to Golden State this past Friday night.

Nash may have to sit out when the Suns host the Magic Sunday at 12:30 p.m. PT with ABC televising.

Phoenix is 18-9 in its last 27 games, but could be missing Nash. He played only 10 minutes in the second half of the Suns’ loss in their last game this past Thursday at home to Denver bothered by an irritated bone in his groin area.

The Suns lost 116-97 as four-point favorites with the combined 213 points falling ‘under’ the 216 ½-point total. It was the first time in 13 tries Denver defeated the Suns in Phoenix.

Nash had trouble keeping up with speedy Denver point guard Ty Lawson, who had 20 points and 11 assists. Nash scored only seven points with seven assists and six turnovers, his worst stat line in 2 ½ months.

Nash’s injury is so painful he may have to sit out a couple of games starting with this matchup. Nash didn’t practice Friday. He rehabilitated the same injury in November, missing two games back then.

Backup point guard Aaron Brooks is in line for extended minutes if Nash can’t go. Brooks played well for Houston last season when he started all 82 games. He’s had a lost and injury-filled season this year.

Brooks has been with the Suns for just two weeks and still is learning the system and new teammates. Rookie Zabian Dowdell is Phoenix’s other point guard.

The Suns already are without Channing Frye, who is out at least two more weeks with a dislocated right shoulder. Frye, a 6-foot-11 forward with a 3-point shooting touch, has missed the last two games. He had scored at least 13 points in 11 of his last 14 games before suffering the injury.

Phoenix’s loss to Denver snapped a season-best string of 11 consecutive games of scoring at least 100 points. The Suns are 7-15-2 ATS in their next game after not covering.

Vince Carter is averaging a career-low 14.2 points per game. He averaged 30.5 points, though, in two previous games before being held to six points against the Nuggets making only two-of-11 shots from the field.

Orlando opened its five-game road trip sneaking past Sacramento this past Wednesday, 106-102, failing to cover as 10-point favorites.

The Magic didn’t play well against Golden State this past Friday and it caught up to them with a 123-120 overtime loss as 4 ½-point favorites. The combined 243 points went ‘over’ the 208-point total. The teams combined for 202 points during regulation.

Jason Richardson scored 30 points and Jameer Nelson had 24 in the loss. Richardson has been red-hot making 18 of 30 three-point shots in his last three games.

The Magic played without backup shooting guard J.J. Redick, who pulled a muscle in his lower abdomen during a workout the day of the game.

Orlando has failed to cover in five of its last six games, including the past four. The Magic are 23-10-1 ATS in their last 34 games versus Pacific Division foes.

The ‘under’ has cashed in 12 of the Magic’s last 16 games The ‘over’ has cashed in five of Phoenix’s last seven games.

Orlando won the first meeting between the two clubs, 105-89, on Nov. 18 as 10 ½-point home ‘chalk.’ The combined 194 points went ‘under’ the 204 ½-point total.

The Suns were playing for the fourth time in five days when they lost to the Magic and also were without Nash, who was nursing a groin injury. Dwight Howard paced Orlando with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

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