Magic make a stop in Washington

The Orlando Magic try to continue their mastery of the Washington Wizards this evening when they kick off the second half of their schedule at Verizon Center.

Orlando has beaten the Wizards eight straight times overall and has walked away victorious in eight of its last nine visits to the nation's capital.

The Magic start their second half with wins in 10 of their last 14 games overall, but stumbled into the break with an 83-78 setback to the Atlanta Hawks. Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando in that one, while J.J. Redick added 13, Hedo Turkoglu chipped in 11 and Ryan Anderson netted 10.

Howard, of course, will be the center of attention up until the March 15 trade deadline. The All-Star center is the franchise's all-time leader in points (11,024) and rebounds (7,821) and leads Orlando with 20.1 points and an NBA- high 15.3 rebounds per game this season, but has requested to be traded.

"You've got to stick together and buy into what we're trying to accomplish and go from there," Howard said. "My focus is just to keep the guys in the locker room together despite what���s being said on the outside."

Orlando is 10-7 away from home this season.

Washington, meanwhile, continues to stumble and on Tuesday lost its fifth straight game, falling to Milwaukee, 119-118.

John Wall's off-balance floater temporarily gave Washington a one-point lead, but Ersan Ilyasova's tip-in with two seconds remaining sent the Wizards to another heartbreaking defeat.

Wall filled the stat sheet with 19 points, 15 assists and five rebounds while Trevor Booker provided a season-high 20 points to go with 11 boards for Washington, which has lost seven of nine.

Head coach Randy Wittman benched starting center JaVale McGee in the second half and only played leading scorer Nick Young for five minutes after the break. Following the game Wittman expressed his frustration with his young team.

"I played guys that wanted to play defense in the second half," said Wizards coach Randy Wittman. "I'm done with young guys...if they don't want to play the right way, [they] aren't gonna play. You get no development out of them if they are going in and playing the way they want to play and the way they did in that first half."

The Wizards will be starting a five-game homestand tonight. They are just 4-13 in their building this season, though.