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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 biceps injury.
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
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