Positive momentum for a team with the second-worst record in the NBA is hard to quantify, but the Orlando Magic are feeling better about the events of the last week.
They beat Minnesota and Boston while sustaining close losses to Washington and Cleveland.
On Tuesday, Orlando gets a crack at getting consecutive wins for the first time in over two months when it hosts the Sacramento Kings.
“Hopefully, after missing these two games, he doesn’t have to miss any more,” Kidd said.
Philadelphia was without its top two shooting guards. JJ Redick (cracked bone below his knee) is out at least a week and Jerryd Bayless (sore left wrist) didn’t dress.
Luwawu-Cabarrot, a French guard in his second NBA season, stepped into the starting lineup and made 3 of 5 3-pointers. His 3-pointer capped a 13-0 run early in the fourth as Philadelphia built a 97-82 lead.
“It’s just a great win for this young team to come into San Antonio, where they only lost two games,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “This has always been a tough place to play and to end the road trip when you’re a little fatigued and a little tired. The challenge was mentally give yourself a chance by giving the effort, staying connected, playing together, and they did.”
The Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings have clinched the NFC East and NFC North titles, with Philadelphia securing a first-round bye. The New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars have also clinched their divisions in the AFC. The Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints have the inside track to round out the top four seeds in the conferences.
In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers, at 10-4, have a firm hold on the NFC’s first wild-card spot. Using the same data that helped construct our power rankings — which highlights a team’s actual and expected win percentage for the year — we estimate Coach Ron Rivera and his squad will finish 11-5, making them a near lock (99 percent) for the postseason. Those same metrics project the Falcons to finish 10-6, giving them a 91 percent chance of making the playoffs as the second, and last, wild-card team.