NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 23rd
(All times Eastern)
Orlando Magic (19-51) at Los Angeles Lakers (22-46), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Orlando Magic will put the finishing touches on what
has been a disastrous western road trip when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers
Sunday night at Staples Center.
The Magic have lost to Golden State, Phoenix and Utah on the road trip and are
winless in the last six games away from home. They dropped an 89-88 decision
to the Jazz on Friday, as Trey Burke buried a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left
to lift the hosts.
Victor Oladipo and Arron Afflalo scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, while
Nikola Vucevic ended with 16 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando, which is
mired in an eight-game slide and has a 4-33 road record.
"We played hard the whole game," said Vucevic. "We started the game off a
little slow, but we got back into it. We played well throughout the rest of
After visiting the Lakers, Orlando will return to central Florida for four
games against Portland, Charlotte, Toronto and Cleveland.
Magic guard Jameer Nelson is questionable Sunday with a sore knee.
Los Angeles has dropped four in a row and seven of its last eight games,
including Friday's 117-107 loss to Washington.
Nick Young returned from an 11-game absence and matched teammate Jodie Meeks
with a team-high 21 points. Pau Gasol supplied 14 points and 14 rebounds for
the Lakers, who saw star point guard Steve Nash return to the lineup.
Nash, who had been sidelined since Feb. 11 with a back and hamstring issue,
finished with five points and 11 assists in the setback.
"Steve played well," Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said of Nash returning to
the lineup. "You can see the energy was up with the team. Tonight was a good
outing for him."
Nash is questionable Sunday, along with forward Wesley Johnson (illness) and
center Chris Kaman (foot).
The Lakers are 0-2 on a four-game homestand and have an 11-22 record at
Staples Center this season. New York is scheduled to visit L.A. on Tuesday.
Los Angeles dropped a 114-105 decision in Orlando on Jan. 24 and has a 12-3
record in the previous 15 meetings between the teams at home.
03/23 10:43:04 ET