NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 25th (All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (45-26) at Orlando Magic (19-52), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers don't have much time to dwell on a recent heart-breaking loss in Miami, so they'll try to defeat Florida's other squad, the Orlando Magic, Tuesday night.
Heat superstar LeBron James scored the go-ahead layup over Blazers center Robin Lopez with 11.4 seconds remaining. Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard tried tying the game on the other end and his attempt was swatted by another All-Star, Heat center Chris Bosh.
Lillard made 12-of-14 from the foul line and scored 19 points to lead the Blazers, who are winless (0-2) on a five-game eastern swing. The Blazers have lost seven of 10 overall and received 17 points from Mo Williams. Wesley Matthews had 15 in defeat.
"I was proud of the way we competed and got back into the game," said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. "It was a frustrating night from the offensive standpoint. We didn't shoot particularly well but we made some shots at the end to get back into it."
Portland is 19-17 away from home, has lost six of seven road games and will also visit Atlanta and Chicago.
The Trail Blazers are fifth in the West -- one game ahead of Golden State.
Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge (back) has missed the last six games and will most likely be out Tuesday.
Orlando limps back to the Magic Kingdom losers of nine straight and just went winless on a four-game western swing with losses to Golden State, Phoenix, Utah and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Magic dropped a 103-94 decision to the Lakers on Sunday, as rookie Victor Oladipo recorded 21 points and 10 assists. Arron Afflalo scored 18 points and Tobias Harris had 16 for Orlando, which committed 20 turnovers and allowed a career-high 28 points to Jordan Hill.
"Too many turnovers on our part and they capitalized on them. We have to value each possession. Give Jordan Hill credit. He was aggressive all night. Our goal is to be locked in on every single possession," said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn.
Orlando will try to stop a three-game home losing streak and has a 15-18 record at Amway Center. Charlotte, Toronto and Cleveland are scheduled to visit central Florida as well.
In injury news for the Magic, guard Jameer Nelson is questionable with a sore left knee and has been sidelined the last three games. He is averaging 12.2 points and 6.9 assists this season.
The Magic dropped a 110-94 decision at Portland on Jan. 8, as a healthy Aldridge pumped in 36 points. Afflalo had 22 in that one for Orlando. The Blazers are 5-2 in the last seven meetings with the Magic.
03/25 10:24:27 ET