The Orlando Magic will face their toughest defensive test so far this season when they host the high-octane Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Through Monday, the Clippers led the league in points per game (119.0) and offensive efficiency (116.6 points per 100 possessions).
Los Angeles' latest victim was Houston. The Clippers beat the Rockets 137-118 Monday night behind 15 made 3-pointers and a game-high 26 points from former Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick.
"That's pretty impressive," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "They've got shooters all around the gym, guys that can get to the rim [with] their bigs that they start. They can give you different, multiple lineups. And, then, Chris Paul having the ball in his hands and creating opportunities for different people [is tough to stop]."
The Magic's defense has been impressive so far. Through Monday, Orlando ranked ninth in defensive efficiency, limiting opponents to 96.5 points per 100 possessions.
Back in town
Wednesday's game will be the third time Redick has played against the Magic.
Redick appeared in 396 regular-season games for Orlando before the team traded him, Gustavo Ayón and Ish Smith on Feb. 21 to the Milwaukee Bucks for Tobias Harris, Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih.
The Magic played the Bucks twice after the trade — once in Milwaukee and once in Orlando — and Redick shot 33.3 percent from the field and averaged 10.0 points in those games.
"It was a little weird [to play against J.J.], but it was fun," Magic point guard Jameer Nelson said. "He's a great competitor, and he's a friend and a professional. I feel like I'm the same in his eyes. We've just got to go out there and compete, and I just wish him the best."
The Clippers' roster also includes another former Magic player, small forward Matt Barnes.
Harris still out
Harris continues to be sidelined by a sprained left ankle.
"I'm all right and getting better," Harris said Tuesday as his teammates prepared to practice at Amway Center. "I'm just trying to get healthy and doing all I can for that."
Harris entered this season with high hopes, but the ankle injury has derailed those hopes temporarily.
His ankle was sore during the preseason, and the injury initially kept him out of preseason exhibitions on Oct. 16 and Oct. 18.
He played in an exhibition on Oct. 20, but he aggravated his ankle that night and hasn't practiced since.
Magic officials never release timetables on when they expect their players to return to the court, but Harris could be a ways away from playing. Although Harris no longer is wearing a walking boot to protect his ankle, he still hasn't pushed off or cut with his left foot.
"It's going to take some time," he said. "I have to get back to where I want to be and back into the top shape I was in and get back out on the floor."
Magic rookie guard Victor Oladipo has scored a total of 55 points in his first four regular-season games.
According to George Galante, the Magic's director of communications, only one other player in Magic history has scored more points in his first four games: Shaquille O'Neal.
O'Neal scored 100 points during the Magic's 3-1 start in 1992-93.
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