Despite a wait-and-see approach to each player's status, the Magic have used this opportunity to show off their depth.
Brandon Bass scored a career-high 27 points Friday for Orlando, which dressed nine players but were left with an eight-man rotation when Ryan Anderson sprained his foot 28 seconds into the game.
"We were just kind of relaxed. I think that was a good thing for us to be in here relaxed and kind of joking around," Bass said. "We were all just kind of making (the stomach virus) a little joke -- that, 'Man, we're only going to have seven, eight players."
A season-high 25 points from Vince Carter helped Orlando stay tied atop the Eastern Conference with Boston.
Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 11 rebounds starting in place of Howard, who missed only the fourth game of his six-plus season career.
"My point to them during the game and at halftime was a lot of teams only play eight guys in their rotation," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "The depth of our roster and the fact that everybody on our roster can play shows itself tonight."
While Orlando is overcoming adversity, Milwaukee has lost seven of eight despite being relatively healthy. Solving those struggles may be difficult against the Magic's defense, which leads the NBA giving up 91.1 points per game.
Defensive-minded coach Scott Skiles has watched the Bucks (6-12) give up more than 100 points in four straight games after allowing that many only twice in the team's first 14.
Milwaukee led by 11 in the third quarter, but couldn't hold on Wednesday in a 104-95 loss in Denver. John Salmons scored 21 points and Brandon Jennings added 14.
"We moved the ball really well, we stepped into our shots, we knocked them down (in the first half)," Skiles said. "We just got a little stagnant in the third quarter and we had a hard time getting out of it."
The Bucks went through a similar stretch at this time last year after an 8-3 start to the 2009-10 season, losing eight of nine from Nov. 23-Dec. 8, 2009. If they are to break their slump this season, overcoming a drought against the Magic would be a good start.
Orlando has beaten Milwaukee in seven of the last eight games, including all three meetings last season. Jennings was held to two points on 1-for-7 shooting in the teams' last matchup -- a 99-82 Magic win Feb. 2.