NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 4th
(All times Eastern)
Orlando Magic (21-54) at Charlotte Bobcats (37-38), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Bobcats have won two straight and will try
to continue the momentum Friday night when they welcome the Orlando Magic to
Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Bobcats are next in line to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern
Conference. They are 4 1/2 games ahead of both the New York Knicks and Atlanta
Hawks for the seventh seed in the playoff race.
Charlotte, which has won two straight at home, knocked off the Washington
Wizards on Monday, then throttled the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo
Center Wednesday night.
The Bobcats prevailed, 123-93, thanks to a big effort from the Eastern
Conference's Player of the Month for March.
Al Jefferson led the way for the Bobcats with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
"Tonight, we took a step forward in maturity in just going out there and
taking care of business." Jefferson said.
Anthony Tolliver scored 16 points, Gary Neal added 15 and Gerald Henderson and
Chris Douglas-Roberts finished with 14 points apiece for the Bobcats, who shot
53.2 percent from the field and 54.4 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
The Magic have lost two straight and 11 of the last 13. Orlando's road losing
streak has reached seven games.
On Wednesday, the Magic fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 119-98, as the Cavs
welcomed back All-Star Game MVP Kyrie Irving, who missed eight games with a
Victor Oladipo scored 16 points, Doron Lamb added 14 and Tobias Harris
finished with 11 for the Magic. E'Twaun Moore and Maurice Harkless both
managed 10 points in the loss.
"I think everyone, at the end of the day, hopefully when you go to work you
take pride in what you do," said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn. "I know in our
locker room they do take pride in what they do. They work extremely hard every
day, but some days it is just not your day."
It was a rough night for Magic starters. Harkless may have scored in double
figures, but all four other first-teamers - Kyle O'Quinn, Nikola Vucevic,
Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson - combined for 31 points on 12-for-34 shooting
from the floor.
The Magic have won two of three meetings this season, but the Bobcats have won
four of the last six in this matchup of Southwest Division rivals. Orlando has
taken nine of the last 11 regular-season matchups in Charlotte.
04/04 10:37:35 ET