NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, October 31st (All times eastern)
Orlando Magic (0-1) at Memphis Grizzlies (0-1), 8:00 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic look to rebound from a lackluster effort in their season opener tonight as they travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies in the home opener for Rudy Gay and Company.
Atlanta standout Joe Johnson scored 25 points to go along with seven rebounds, as the Atlanta Hawks trounced the Magic, 99-85, on Wednesday in Orlando.
All-Star Dwight Howard had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Magic, who finished 52-30 last season to win its first division crown since the strike- shortened 1998-99 season.
Mickael Pietrus, an offseason addition from Golden State, scored 20 in the loss but made just 2-of-7 three-pointers.
After the Magic made at least five three-pointers in each of their 82 regular season games last season, they went just 4-for-25 against the Hawks.
Memphis was also a loser in its opener, struggling on the offensive end in an 81-72 loss to the Rockets at Houston on Wednesday.
Gay scored 20 points in the loss for the Grizzlies, who finished just 22-60 and last in the Southwest Division for the second straight season last year.
Marc Gasol had 12 points to match his 12 boards and rookie Darrell Arthur ended with 11 points and 15 boards. O.J. Mayo, the third overall pick in this past summer's draft, had 10 points on 5-of-20 shooting in defeat.
Howard has dominated Memphis in the recent past, recording four straight double-doubles against the Grizzlies. The 22-year-old phenom averaged 25.5 points and 16.0 rebounds in those games.
The two teams split a pair of meetings last season as Memphis topped Orlando in the Magic Kingdom but Howard and his mates rebounded to rout the Grizzlies, 112-85 in Memphis.
Overall, Orlando was one two of the last three meeting in the series but Memphis has won five of the past seven and nine of the last 12 contests between the two clubs.
The Magic's backup point guard, veteran Anthony Johnson, is questionable for the game with a sore hamstring.
10/31 10:23:02 ET