NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 21st (All times Eastern)
Orlando Magic (11-30) at Brooklyn Nets (17-22), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets have been playing good basketball of late and will try to continue their momentum Tuesday night when they host the Orlando Magic at The Barclays Center.
The Nets have won two in a row and seven of their last eight. They've crept into the Atlantic Division race and are just 2 1/2 games behind the leading Toronto Raptors.
On Monday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, the Nets embarrassed their New York rivals, the Knicks, 103-80. The 80 points allowed was a season-low for Brooklyn.
"We're putting games together, we're putting quarters together," Nets forward Paul Pierce said. "We're being more consistent."
Joe Johnson led the way with 25 points. Andray Blatche tallied 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, while Alan Anderson scored 15.
Deron Williams added 13 in the triumph. Williams returned from a five-game absence with a sprained ankle and came off the bench, something he requested of coach Jason Kidd. It was the first time he came off the bench since his rookie season with the Utah Jazz back in 2005-06.
"We've been playing so well with that lineup, why shake things up? It doesn't matter if I come off, start, whatever," Williams told the team's website. "The way Joe (Johnson's) been playing the first quarter, first half, I don't want to disrupt that."
The Magic snapped a 10-game losing streak Sunday when Tobias Harris hit two free throws with 10.1 seconds left to seal a win over the Boston Celtics at Amway Center.
With the game tied 91 apiece and under 30 seconds left, Jameer Nelson missed a 3-pointer, but Boston's Kris Humphries was called for a loose ball foul on Harris, who calmly sank two from the charity stripe for the game's final points.
Arron Afflalo had 20 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, while Harris scored 18 with seven boards for the Magic, who picked up their first win of 2014.
"You take our last three close games and you see the progression," said Orlando head coach Jacque Vaughn. "We executed, got to the foul line."
Glen Davis added 17 points and seven rebounds, with Nelson netting 16 points and handing out 10 assists in the victory.
The Magic demolished the Nets, 107-86 on Nov. 3 in Orlando to snap a four-game winning streak for Brooklyn in this series. The Magic have lost two in a row as the visitor against the Nets, but had taken five straight prior to the setbacks.
01/21 10:41:03 ET