NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 17th (All times eastern)
Orlando Magic (32-8) at Denver Nuggets (27-13), 9:00 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic hope to conclude a tough four-game road trip in perfect fashion Saturday when they invade the Rocky Mountains to take on the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center.
The Magic passed another tough road test on Friday when Jameer Nelson poured in 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, including a trio of three- pointers, as Orlando Magic pulled off an unprecedented season sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers behind a 109-103 victory at Staples Center.
The Magic, which also defeated the west's top team in Orlando back on December 20, had never in franchise history taken the home-and-home season series against the Lakers.
Nelson also doled out eight assists, while Dwight Howard was nothing short of spectacular with 25 points and 20 rebounds for the Magic, who improved to an NBA-best 16-5 on the road and 3-0 on their current swing. Rashard Lewis' 16 points helped Orlando to its sixth straight win overall.
Courtney Lee added 12 points and did a terrific defensive job on Kobe Bryant, who shot just 3-for-12 in an abnormally poor shooting effort in the fourth quarter.
The Northwest-Division leading Nuggets, meanwhile, will be finishing up a season-long, seven-game homestand.
Denver improved to an impressive 5-1 on the residency on Thursday when Chauncey Billups poured in 26 points to go along with eight assists, and Kenyon Martin buried an unexpected three with 29.6 seconds left in overtime, as Denver overcame Phoenix, 119-113.
Martin finished with 24 points and eight rebounds, while Nene notched 17 points and 14 rebounds for Denver.
Linas Kleiza donated 18 points and J.R. Smith totaled 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Nuggets, who won for the seventh time in eight games overall, improving to 16-5 as the host this season.
On the injury front, the Nuggets continue to play without All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, who is on the shelf for at least two more weeks with a broken bone in his right hand.
The Magic have dropped five straight in Denver, last winning there on December 20, 2002.
01/17 10:36:53 ET