NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 9th (All times eastern)
Orlando Magic (16-5) at Portland Trail Blazers (15-7), 10:00 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Portland Trail Blazers return to the cozy confines of the Rose Garden Tuesday to face off with the Southeast Division-leading Orlando Magic.
The Blazers, who are a perfect 7-0 at home this season, finished up a grueling five-game road trip with an impressive 4-1 record when Steve Blake scored 19 points, including the game-winning three-pointer with 8.9 seconds remaining as Portland edged the Toronto Raptors, 98-97, at the Air Canada Centre.
Blake also chipped in seven rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and eight boards, and Brandon Roy had 15 points with seven assists for Portland, which has won nine of its last 11 games.
Rudy Fernandez scored 16 points and added eight rebounds off the bench for the Trail Blazers. The team's only loss on the trek was to the defending NBA champion Celtics in Boston.
The 7-0 start at home for Portland is the team's best since opening the 1998-99 lockout-shortened season with nine consecutive wins.
Orlando, meanwhile, kicked off a five-game road swing on Monday in grand fashion when Dwight Howard celebrated his 23rd birthday with a 23-point, 22- rebound effort, as the Magic used a big fourth quarter to upend the Los Angeles Clippers, 95-88.
Howard, who has eclipsed the 20-point, 20-rebound plateau in three of the past five games, shot just 9-of-18 from the foul line but was nonetheless unstoppable down low for Orlando, which has won three in a row and improved to 7-2 on the road this season.
Outside threats Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu netted 18 and 10 points, respectively, while Jameer Nelson logged 15 points and five assists in the win.
The Blazers snapped a four-game skid against the Magic on November 10 with a 106-99 win in Orlando.
12/09 10:17:31 ET