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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 6th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Nets (27-34) at Orlando Magic (44-16), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Southeast Division-leading Orlando Magic will try to wrap up a two-game homestand on a perfect note when they welcome the New Jersey Nets to Amway Arena.

Orlando is currently third in the Eastern Conference and has won two straight and five of its last seven games, including Tuesday's 111-99 victory versus Shaquille O'Neal and the Phoenix Suns. Rashard Lewis scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for the Magic, who are 23-7 as the host in 2008-09.

Hedo Turkoglu added 22 points and six assists, while Rafer Alston ended with 15 points, six assists and as many rebounds in the win. Magic center Dwight Howard outdueled former Orlando No. 1 draft pick O'Neal by posting 21 points and eight boards in just under 30 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, the Nets are only a half game off the eighth and final playoff spot in the East but have lost seven of the past 10 games. Most recently, they suffered a 115-111 home loss versus the Boston Celtics after Paul Pierce netted 31 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 20.9 seconds left in the contest.

Vince Carter had a game-high 34 points, while Devin Harris had 25 and 11 assists for New Jersey, which will try to even its 14-15 road record Friday night.

Orlando and New Jersey are playing the second of three matchups this season and will meet again on April 11 at the Meadowlands. In a 101-84 Orlando victory on February 8 at Amway Arena, Howard was too much with 30 points and 16 rebounds.

The Magic have won three straight and five of the last six meetings with New Jersey, which has lost four of its last five trips to the Magic.

03/06 10:33:21 ET


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