NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 20th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (21-4) at Orlando Magic (20-6), 7:00 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of division leaders meet Saturday in Orlando when the Magic host the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers, who lead the Pacific Division, kicked off a four-game road trip by losing a tough one in South Beach on Friday night when Miami's Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 35 points, and the Heat held on at the end thanks to a missed shot by Kobe Bryant to defeat Los Angeles, 89-87, at American Airlines Arena.
Bryant had a team-high 28 points for the Lakers, who had won their previous four contests but were held to a season-low point total and fell to 7-3 on the road. Pau Gasol returned from a case of strep throat and scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Derek Fisher added 13 points in the loss. Jordan Farmer had 12 points for Los Angeles.
The Lakers will also visit Memphis and New Orleans on their trip.
The Southeast Division-leading Magic opened a four-game homestand in grand fashion Thursday when Jameer Nelson scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter as Orlando welcomed back Dwight Howard with a 90-78 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Nelson also logged seven assists, while Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu added 15 and 11 points, respectively, for the Magic, who have won three straight overall and five consecutive at home.
Howard, who missed Orlando's previous two games due to a knee injury, battled through foul trouble for most of the game but still finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
The Magic, who are 10-3 in Orlando, will also face Golden State and New Orleans on its residency.
The teams split the home-and-home season series a year ago but the Lakers have won six of seven and nine of their last 11 contests with the Magic.
12/20 10:32:39 ET