(SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans are gearing up for a potential playoff run and will return to work Friday against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.
The Pelicans are hoping to have a healthy Davis for the haul and he has missed two straight games and the All-Star Game with a shoulder contusion. Davis was injured Feb. 7 versus Chicago after he fell to the ground following a dunk.
Davis has been working with trainer Duane Brooks, who accompanied the franchise player to New York this past weekend for All-Star festivities. Davis said the shoulder feels better with extensive rehab and treatment, and needs to see how the limb holds up during practice.
New Orleans is 1 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff seed in the Western Conference, and can only go as far as Davis takes the team. Playing defense and staying hungry are keys for Davis moving forward.
"We know what we have to do," Davis said. "It's something we've been doing all year ... defending, rebounding, playing for each other, playing hard, bringing the energy, and we should be fine."
Davis said any team in the West can be beaten on any given night, and hopes to get "rolling Friday" against Orlando. The 6-foor-10 phenom is averaging 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.
The Pelicans did not resemble a playoff team before the break, having lost three in a row and five of their last eight games, and will begin a tour through the Sunshine State with a trip to Miami slated for Saturday.
New Orleans closed a winless three-game homestand with last Wednesday's 106-93 setback to the Indiana Pacers and a fourth-quarter rally (33-17) fell short. The Pelicans were down, 32-18, after 12 minutes of action and managed 17 points in the second quarter.
Luke Babbitt had 15 points and both Toney Douglas and Alexis Ajinca scored 14 points in the loss.
"You don't want to put up horrible performances like that in front of your home crowd," said Babbitt. "We've just got to keep fighting."
The Pelicans have won three of their last four road games and are 10-16 outside the Big Easy. In other injury news, forward Ryan Anderson (elbow) is questionable Friday and point guard Jrue Holiday (leg) is still out.
New Orleans made some moves before the trade deadline, as the Phoenix Suns received Danny Granger and two future first-round picks -- 2017 top-seven protected and unprotected 2021 -- from the Heat for Goran Dragic. They also got swingman John Salmons, who will be waived, from the Pelicans.
New Orleans got guard Norris Cole, forward Shawne Williams and center Justin Hamilton from Miami in the trade.
Orlando will continue a four-game homestand, which commenced with an 89-83 triumph over the New York Knicks on Feb. 11.
Nikola Vucevic had 28 points and 18 rebounds, while Victor Oladipo added 19 points in a game that featured 21 lead changes and 13 ties. Dewayne Dedmon provided a spark off the bench with six blocks.
"Dewayne was fantastic," said Magic interim head coach James Borrego. "I think he changed the entire complexion of the game -- his energy, the way he competed. He protected the paint. He protected the rim."
The Magic stopped a two-game slide and won for only the second time in the past 14 games, and are 7-18 at home this season. They will also welcome Philadelphia and Miami to town.
Tobias Harris has missed two straight games with a sore right knee and is questionable Friday. Harris is averaging 17.4 ppg this season. Channing Frye (dislocated finger) is listed as questionable.
Orlando dropped a 101-84 decision at New Orleans on Oct. 28 in the season opener for both teams, as Davis fell one block shy of a triple-double with 26 points and 17 rebounds and nine swats. Harris led Orlando in that one with 25 points.
New Orleans has prevailed in seven of the last nine games in this series.