Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Magic fading for Orlando as losses keep piling up

ORLANDO — The Magic's lofty preseason goals have morphed into disappointment and possibly more postseason futility.

After years of coaching changes and constant reimagining of the team, this was supposed to be the Magic's breakthrough year into the playoffs. But with the season more than halfway over and the team sitting at 19-32 as of Thursday and on the outside of the playoff race, the outlook appears dismal.

"I anticipated being as far over .500 as we are under .500," said first-year coach Frank Vogel. "Overall I'm disappointed in our record and working diligently to turn it around."

Despite Vogel's efforts to turn things around — shifting players in and out of the starting lineup and mixing and matching various combinations — it just hasn't worked and doesn't seem like it's going to anytime soon.

"We all planned, had thoughts about being a better team than we are," forward Jeff Green said.

Magic time for Lakers: The Lakers brought Magic Johnson back to the team as an adviser to owner Jeanie Buss. Johnson, one of the most beloved players in franchise history, will assist Buss "in all areas of basketball and business," according to the team.

Game highlights: Dwight Howard scored 24 and grabbed 23 rebounds to lead the visiting Hawks to a 113-108 win over the Rockets. … John Wall scored 33 as the host Wizards won their sixth straight, 116-108 over the Lakers.

Around the League: The Magic's Aaron Gordon, who finished second in last year's All-Star dunk contest, is returning for another shot, Feb. 18 in New Orleans. Also, defending 3-point champ Klay Thompson of the Warriors will defend his title (full fields, 2C).

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Boys basketball: Lakewood 45, Gibbs 44

ST. PETERSBURG — Once the lights dimmed in the gymnasium and the capacity crowd dispersed, Lakewood coach Anthony Lawrence spotted Gibbs coach Larry Murphy strolling past the the bleachers."Hey, Murph. Do we have to do this every time?" Lawrenc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Boys basketball: Nature Coast 78, Central 29

Boys basketball: Nature Coast 78, Central 29

BROOKSVILLE – Once again supporting its place as the top program in Hernando County, Nature Coast maintained its undefeated record in a dominant win over rival Central.While the Bears were able to upset the Sharks to win the Class 6A, District ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Girls basketball: Plant 66, Steinbrenner 31

LUTZ — Here's some discouraging news for any team that has to play Plant this season or in the next few seasons: The Panthers beat Steinbrenner 66-31 Friday night. Of those 66 points, 48 were scored by a sophomore and two freshmen.Freshman powe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Boys basketball: Plant City 79, Tampa Bay Tech 74

Boys basketball: Plant City 79, Tampa Bay Tech 74

TAMPA — Traveling to play at Tampa Bay Tech is a test for any area basketball team these days because the Titans are tough and the crowd is loud.Plant City prepared for all of the above, answered most of the questions and passed the exam Friday...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Nobody has Jameis Winston’s back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody has Jameis Winston’s back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody is a bigger supporter of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston than head coach Dirk Koetter.That was the passionate message that offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken unloaded at his news conference Friday, saying that reports that Winst...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Westbrook, Embiid put on show in triple OT thriller

Westbrook, Embiid put on show in triple OT thriller

PHILADELPHIA — Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists, and the Thunder and the 76ers went basket-for-basket in a three-overtime thriller before Oklahoma City pulled out a 119-117 victory Friday night. Andre Roberson scored the wi...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Dec. 15

Friday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 7, Clearwater 0Osceola 9, Bradenton Bayshore 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Plant 1Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 0, Plant 0Lennard 4, Armwood 1
Updated: 3 hours ago

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingMiddleweights: Lemieux vs. Saunders9:30 p.m.HBOCollege basketballButler vs. PurduenoonFoxMiami at George WashingtonnoonCBSSNLouisville vs. MemphisnoonESPN2Detroit vs. MichigannoonESPNUNC-Greensboro at N.C. StatenoonFSFSeton Hall at Rutgers...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerma...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rangers hold off Pacific-leading Kings

Rangers hold off Pacific-leading Kings

NEW YORK — Rick Nash scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:27 left to lead the Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Pacific Division-leading Kings on Friday night. Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller scored to help New York win for the second time i...
Updated: 4 hours ago