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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 19th (All times eastern)

Orlando Magic (14-9) at Miami Heat (18-7), 6 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A Sunshine State showdown will take center stage this evening, when the streaking Miami Heat and Shaquille O'Neal host Steve Francis and the Orlando Magic at American Airlines Arena.

The Heat posted a 107-100 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday evening at American Airlines Arena. Shaquille O'Neal had 20 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks, and Dwyane Wade led all scorers with 25 points in the contest.

Eddie Jones contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals for the Heat, who have won a season-best seven straight games to improve to 18-7.

Christian Laettner tallied 14 points and Damon Jones tacked on 12 for Miami, which shot 51.8 percent from the field in the win. The Heat hit just 17-of-29 (.586) from the free throw line and 4-of-17 (.235) from three-point range.

Miami outrebounded the Nuggets, 42-37, and forced 16 turnovers which led to 23 points.

Miami, which is 9-3 at American Airlines Arena this season, is in the middle game of a three-game homestand.

Orlando halted a three-game losing streak on Saturday night, posting a 117-95 thumping of the Nuggets. Cuttino Mobley led six Magic in double figures with 19 points, while Dwight Howard added 17 points and nine rebounds.

Grant Hill registered 16 points, Francis chipped in 12 points and 11 assists, and Jameer Nelson tossed in 10 points. Mario Kasun registered 10 rebounds and six points in the contest.

The Magic shot a season-high 58 percent from the field and beat Denver at home for the 12th consecutive time.

Orlando led by 14 at halftime and then outscored the Nuggets 33-16 in the third quarter to take a comfortable 97-66 lead into the final stanza. The Magic cruised to the easy victory despite being outscored by nine points in the fourth quarter.

Orlando, which is rounding out a stretch of seven road tilts in eight games, has tallied a 6-7 mark in foreign buildings this year.

The Heat swept all four meetings between these teams after losing all four contests in 2002-03. Miami has won seven of 11 and eight of the last 13 meetings in this series. Orlando has lost two consecutive trips to Miami.

12/19 10:06:24 ET


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