NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 4th (All times Eastern)
Orlando Magic (16-44) at New Orleans Hornets (21-39), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic will try to snap a three-game slide Monday night when they visit the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Hornets.
The Magic dropped three in a row, all at home. Maybe Orlando fans can take solace knowing the Magic won their last road game, a 98-84 victory at Philadelphia almost a week ago.
But during this recent homestand, the Magic allowed over 100 points in each for an average of 117 ppg.
The Magic's most recent setback came Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies. After seeing their eight-game winning streak snapped the night before in Miami, the Grizz played without All-Star Zach Randolph, who injured his ankle against the Heat.
Randolph's absence hardly mattered. The Grizzlies shot 53 percent from the field and 46 percent from the 3-point line. The Magic made only 39.7 percent of their attempts, 13 percent from long range. Orlando committed 16 turnovers, which led to 23 Memphis points.
Without starting point guard Jameer Nelson for a sixth straight game, Arron Afflalo, Andrew Nicholson and E'Twaun Moore led the way with 12 points apiece. Moe Harkless chipped in 11, but one player who'd been producing, didn't on Saturday.
Tobias Harris, who was acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks in the J.J. Redick trade, averaged 20.0 ppg over his first four in a Magic uniform, but only managed six against the Grizzlies on 3-for-14 shooting.
"I think it's a byproduct of a great defensive team," said coach Jacque Vaughn. "Hopefully, we'll play better tomorrow and he will too."
The Hornets had the weekend off after a 100-95 home victory over the Detroit Pistons.
A well-balanced scoring attack paced the Hornets on Friday, led by 25 from Greivis Vasquez and 21 from Eric Gordon. Ryan Anderson netted 19 to go along with 13 rebounds and Robin Lopez added 10 points and five blocks.
"We controlled the pace of the game; we played great defense," said Anderson. "That's huge for this team because we're a running team and we get open shots when we play great defense. Tonight we just stuck to the game plan. We did a great job crashing the boards. That's something we wanted to have a big mentality in doing. We did that tonight."
Al-Farouq Aminu pulled down 14 boards.
The Hornets were under-manned on Friday and will be for the remainder of the season. Anthony Davis, the first overall pick in last summer's draft, missed the contest with a sprained left shoulder. He is listed as questionable for Monday's game.
Jason Smith, a key reserve big man, is out for the season with a torn right labrum. The team signed center/forward Henry Sims to a 10-day contract.
The Magic, who play in Miami on Wednesday, have lost the last five games in this series with New Orleans and haven't won in the Big Easy since Nov. 29, 2007, a span of four games.
03/04 10:24:25 ET