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Wizards vs. Magic preview: Washington kicks off the second half of the season hosting Orlando

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Orlando Magic v Washington Wizards Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Game Info

When: Friday, January 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Win probability: Washington has an 83 percent chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Injury Report

Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)

Magic: Nikola Vucevic (Out, Hand), Terrence Ross (Out, Knee), Jonathan Isaac (Out, Ankle)

What to Watch for

What will the Wizards do to slow down Elfrid Payton?

Washington had a convincing 27 point win when they hosted the Magic last month. The only thing that kept it from being an even bigger blowout was Elfrid Payton’s great night. He scored a career-high 30 points and added 10 assists and 4 steals to boot.

Even though the game was a blowout, he didn’t get those numbers by padding stats in garbage time. He just got to the rim at ease throughout the game against Washington’s sloppy defense.

To be fair, the Magic haven’t been very stout on the defensive end themselves, so the Wizards might be able to get away with another shootout in this game like they did last month. However, if they can’t get their outside shots to fall like they did in that game, they’re going to need to tighten things up on Payton to avoid an upset.

That, or they just need to trick him into blinding himself again. Whatever works.

A random moment in Wizards - Magic history: Ramon Sessions finishing through contact in Orlando

Generally speaking, Ramon Sessions wasn’t a great finisher around the rim, but every now and then he’d come through a deliver an amazing highlight around the rim like this.