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Wed, Jan 4, 2012 - 7:00 PM ET
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Wizards-Magic Preview

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The Washington Wizards are on the verge of the worst start in franchise history. A visit to Orlando wouldn't appear to be a good way to avoid that dubious feat.

They've rarely won there and have been blown out in the last three visits, plus the Magic are perfect at home this season heading into Wednesday night's meeting.

Washington, which has never opened a season with six straight losses, dropped to 0-5 for the third time in franchise history with a 100-92 loss in Boston on Monday. The Wizards led by one after three quarters but allowed the Celtics to score 31 points in the fourth, the second time they've given up more than 30 in a period this season.

"Right now, with a team like this, you're trying to teach them not only how to play but how to win," said Wizards assistant Randy Wittman, who took over after coach Flip Saunders was ejected less than two minutes into the game.

"You have to have steps like this. Did we get the win, no, but we played them right down to the wire. I thought the effort for 48 minutes was as good as we could ask for."

The league's lone winless club next has the difficult task of trying to end a six-game skid to the Magic (4-2). The Wizards have given up at least 100 points in each of those losses, and another such performance might lead to another defeat as they're scoring 85.2 per game this season.

Washington has dropped 14 of 17 in this series, including three in a row on the road by at least 25 points each. The Wizards, 6-33 in Orlando over the previous 19 seasons, were 3-38 in road games in 2010-11 and have lost three this season by an average of 15.7 points.

They're facing a Magic team which is 3-0 at home but coming off its worst scoring performance of the season, an 89-78 loss at Detroit on Monday. Orlando was held to 32 second-half points during its sixth game in the first nine days of the season.

The Magic are one of eight teams to play that many games over that span.

"Obviously we had a long stretch of games and not a lot of time to rest," said forward Ryan Anderson, held to 13 points Monday after averaging 23.0 in the previous three games.

With a day off, the Magic hope to come out a little fresher and get more contributions from their starting backcourt. Jason Richardson is averaging 8.8 points - 9.1 below his career mark - and Jameer Nelson is averaging 6.6 points, nearly half his career average.

Richardson might have a chance to break out of his funk Wednesday as he's averaging 22.3 points on 57.3 percent shooting in his last six games against Washington, hitting 20 of 39 3-point attempts. Nelson averaged 11.5 points in last season's four meetings.

Magic star Dwight Howard averaged 27.3 points and shot 75.9 percent against Washington last season. Only his 29.0-point averages against New York and Toronto were better versus Eastern Conference foes.

Wizards point guard John Wall averaged 18.3 points against Orlando in his rookie season, but enters this game shooting a league-worst 31.7 percent from the field.

Tagged: Magic, Wizards

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