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Orlando Magic vs Phoenix Suns

TV: FOX Sports activities Florida

TIME: Pregame protection begins at Eight:30 p.m.


PHOENIX — Lobs. Dunks. An offensive rhythm that ends in simpler photographs. That's what level guard Elfrid Payton offers for Orlando, and the Magic rejoiced in his return on Wednesday.
The Phoenix Suns, in the meantime, hope to discover a solution to transfer ahead with out level guard Eric Bledsoe, absent because the fourth recreation of the season earlier than lastly traded to the Milwaukee Bucks earlier within the week.
The Suns and Magic will meet at Speaking Stick Resort Area on Friday evening.
Payton had 11 factors and 11 assists in a 112-99 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday after lacking the earlier eight video games with a hamstring damage. The victory broke the Magic’s two-game dropping streak.
It didn't take lengthy for Payton’s presence to be felt. A few half-minute in, Payton and energy leaper Aaron Gordon linked on an alley-oop dunk, their pet play.
“It feels good,” Payton stated. “That’s what I’m right here for, to make everyone’s job as straightforward as potential.”
Orlando (7-Four) will play the opener of a four-game, six-day journey towards the Suns earlier than visiting Denver on Saturday. The journey concludes with video games towards Golden State (Monday) and Portland (Wednesday), a stretch wherein the Magic will play eight of 10 on the street.
The Magic shot 53.Eight % and had 31 assists towards the Knicks. Nikola Vucevic (24 factors), Evan Fournier (23) and Gordon (21) every shot higher than 50 %.
“A sight for sore eyes — that’s what it was for me seeing Elfrid Payton again on the market,” Magic coach Frank Vogel stated.
The Suns have performed with Mike James and Tyler Ulis on the level because the fourth recreation of the season, when Bledsoe was advised to not present up following his “I Dont wanna be right here” tweet.
James had 18 factors, three assists and no turnovers in a season-high 31 minutes throughout a 126-115 house loss to the Miami Warmth on Wednesday. The Suns (Four-Eight) dropped their fourth straight.
James, a 27-year-old rookie who spent a lot of the previous 5 seasons abroad, had a career-high 24 factors in a 122-114 victory at Brooklyn on Oct. 31. He's averaging 12.three factors and Four.zero assists whereas taking pictures 39 % from the sector.
Phoenix’s main scorer, taking pictures guard Devin Booker, additionally has been utilized in a distribution position at occasions, understanding that when he passes, opponents might double-team much less, main to higher shot alternatives.
Booker completed with 30 factors, six assists and no turnovers towards the Warmth.
“With Bledsoe clearly now being gone, our younger guards, much more falls on (Booker’s) shoulders of being a cellular playmaker,” veteran ahead Jared Dudley stated. “He's taking part in excessive minutes, and we're additionally asking him defensively to take the following step. Good factor he’s younger, he has a number of vitality, however general it’s going to be an enormous yr for his improvement to take that subsequent step.”
Suns interim coach Jay Triano stated, “We’re making an attempt to place (Booker) in positions the place he could make extra performs for folks. When he has the ball, he makes good selections, whether or not it’s scoring or transferring it to get different guys photographs.”
The Suns have been gradual starters lately. They've been behind after the primary quarter in every of their previous 5 video games, and so they trailed 36-27 after one quarter and 69-54 at halftime towards Miami.
“It looks like we're slightly anxious and rushed at the start of the sport,” James stated. “We simply must cool down slightly extratypically you miss photographs, and typically that makes you slightly anxious.”

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