NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, January 18th
(All times Eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (9-29) at Orlando Magic (14-24), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic have won two of their last three and will
hope to keep the momentum going Friday night when they host the lowly
The Magic aren't far removed from lowly, but they've played well lately.
Orlando closed out a west-coast trip with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers
on Saturday night, then, two nights later, got crushed by the woeful
Washington Wizards in the nation's capital, 120-91.
The Magic came out on Wednesday and bested the Central Division leading
Indiana Pacers, 97-86.
Nikola Vucevic is doing his best to make Orlando fans forget about Dwight
Howard. He is averaging a double-double and posted another on Wednesday with
16 points and 15 rebounds.
Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick and Glen Davis, in just his second
game back from a shoulder injury, also registered double figures.
Friday night will be Orlando's second in a three-game homestand.
"We've got to protect home," said Davis. "To be home gives you a level of
comfort. But at the same time, we're not really trying to be comfortable.
We're trying to win games."
Orlando is 8-12 at home this season.
The Bobcats are 4-14 on the road and have lost five in a row.
The most recent setback came on Tuesday night when the Indiana Pacers came to
Charlotte and destroyed the Bobcats, 103-76. Three Bobcats - Gerald Henderson,
Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions - scored in double figures, but Tuesday was a
Indiana built a 10-point lead at the half, then extended it to 26 after three
The Pacers out-rebounded the Bobcats, 60-31.
"We have to rebound by committee," said head coach Mike Dunlap. "We have to
help each other out. When we really address it, and really focus on it, we're
The statistics don't bare it out. The Bobcats are 22nd in rebounding and 27th
in allowing opponents' rebounding.
The Magic won this season's only meeting with Charlotte, a 107-98 road victory
on Dec. 15. Orlando has won 14 of its last 16 at home against the Bobcats and
20 of the last 25 overall in the series.
01/18 10:28:39 ET