NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, February 13th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (38-16) at Orlando Magic (34-21), 3:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers hope to remain perfect on their annual Grammy road trip Sunday when they visit central Florida to take on the homestanding Orlando Magic.
The Lakers improved to 4-0 on their seven-game trek Friday when Kobe Bryant excelled in the bright lights of the big city during the Lakers' only regular season visit to New York, scoring 33 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead LA to a 113-96 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
"We executed well," Bryant said. "We had great spacing, we were able to get penetration and get in the paint. I feel like we rebounded pretty well today as well."
Pau Gasol supplied 20 points and six boards while Lamar Odom added 14 points for the Lakers.
After today's game LA, which has identical 19-8 records at home and on the road, will finish its trip with visits to Charlotte and Cleveland.
The Magic, meanwhile, dropped the opener of a lengthy seven-game homestand on Friday when David West finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds while Willie Green poured in a season-high 24 points, as the New Orleans Hornets held on for a 99-93 victory over Orlando.
Dwight Howard posted 20 points and 17 boards for the Magic, but made only 4- of-12 free throws as they had a two-game winning streak broken. Hedo Turkoglu scored 16 points for Orlando while Earl Clark ended with a career-high 14 points and J.J. Redick also scored 14.
Orlando has been treading water for about a month, winning exactly half of its last 18 games. Included in that stretch are two losses to the Hornets -- Friday's, and an overtime setback on January 12. Meanwhile, the team is a dismal 0-8 against teams with winning records in that same stretch.
"Right now if you just look at the results, bottom line is that we can't beat a good team," said Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy. "That's the bottom line, we've lost eight straight to teams that are over .500 right now, and we haven't been able to play at the level we need to play, to play teams like that. That's the bottom line. It's going to have to change."
Orlando has won three of its past four regular season meetings with the Lakers but of course lost in the 2009 NBA Finals to LA.
02/13 10:37:27 ET