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PREVIEW: Phoenix Suns seek to extend road streak in Orlando

Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker reacts against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns have been racking up the road wins and are closing in on an impressive franchise record.

Phoenix aims to stretch its road winning streak to eight games when it visits the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in the second contest of a four-game excursion.

The Suns opened the trip with Tuesday’s 110-100 victory over the Miami Heat as they moved within two road triumphs of matching the franchise mark, last accomplished during the 2006-07 season.

The team’s stellar 14-5 road record — best in the NBA by percentage (.737) — is part of the reason why Phoenix resides in second place in the Western Conference with a superb 29-13 mark.

Another factor is the squad has won 21 of its past 26 overall games.

Suns coach Monty Williams is intent on not getting caught up in the gaudy accomplishments, however, preferring to enjoy notching a victory against a Miami team that lost in last season’s NBA Finals than discussing big-picture scenarios.

“I don’t want to make declarations about us,” Williams said. “I just like winning games and winning with our defense against a really good team — a team with a championship pedigree and a team that’s been where we want to go.”

Read More: RECAP: Devin Booker leads Phoenix Suns past Miami Heat for third straight win

All-Star guard Devin Booker scored 23 points against Miami and has tallied 20 or more in six of the past seven games.

Center Deandre Ayton also stood out against Miami with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Ayton has made 18 of 25 shots over the past two games while averaging 21.5 points and 12 rebounds.

“We’re demanding a lot out of him,” veteran forward Jae Crowder said of Ayton. “He’s taking it. He’s gradually getting better each game.”

Orlando is mired in a deep slump and lost for the 11th time in its past 12 games in falling 110-99 to the visiting Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.

The Magic trailed by as many as 24 points while losing by double digits for the sixth time in those 12 contests.

Shooting guard Evan Fournier has been the subject of trade rumors with Thursday’s trading deadline approaching but he certainly wasn’t distracted Tuesday as he knocked down five 3-pointers and matched his season best of 31 points.

“Sometimes a deal might happen and then not (happen) at the last minute and you will never know it,” Fournier said of the speculation. “It’s just the nature of this business, so there’s really no reason for me (to worry).”

More likely to be dealt is power forward Aaron Gordon, who had 13 points and six assists versus the Nuggets.

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The Boston Celtics reportedly are making a push for Gordon, who maintains that his full attention is firmly on playing for Orlando.

“I’m focused on tomorrow night. As of right now, I’m an Orlando Magic,” Gordon said after Tuesday’s game. “I’ve been here for seven years. I developed a home here, a sense of love and community here. For as long as I have Orlando on my chest, Magic on my chest, I’m going to give everything I have. I’m focused on Phoenix tomorrow and getting that win.”

Swingman Terrence Ross (knee) could return Wednesday after missing the previous four games. Ross made 12 3-pointers and averaged 29.5 points over the final two games preceding his absence.

The Suns notched a 109-90 home win over the Magic on Feb. 14 behind 27 points from Booker.

–Field Level Media