NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 23rd (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (14-11) at Orlando Magic (9-14), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers try for their second straight win this evening when they start a three-game road trip against the Orlando Magic at TD Waterhouse Centre.
On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant poured in a career-high 62 points in only three quarters of action, as Los Angeles crushed the Dallas Mavericks, 112-90, at the Staples Center.
Bryant shot 18-of-31 from the field and hit 22-of-25 free throws while adding eight rebounds for the Lakers, who have won four of their last five games. Bryant, who did not have an assist, was the only Laker with double-digit points, but Chris Mihm had nine points and eight rebounds in the win.
The 62 points were the most by a Laker since Shaquille O'Neal netted 61 against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 6, 2000. Bryant's previous career- high was 56 points against Memphis on January 14, 2002.
Los Angeles, which will visit O'Neal and the Miami Heat on Sunday before ending its trek in Washington on Monday, is 8-5 away from home this season.
Orlando, meanwhile, saw its losing streak hit three games on Wednesday, as it was upended at home by Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets, 96-85.
Grant Hill and Steve Francis led the way with 16 points each for the Magic, who have lost eight of 10. Dwight Howard had 14 points and 15 rebounds while Tony Battie pitched in 13 points with 10 boards.
Orlando had six players in double figures, but it is now just 1-4 in such games.
On the injury front, the Magic continue to play without injured center Kelvin Cato, who has missed the last six games with an ankle injury. He is questionable for tonight's affair.
The Magic, who are in the midst of a six-game homestand, have dropped eight of 13 at home and are just 5-8 in their arena this season.
Orlando split its two matchups with the Lakers last season, but has lost four of the last five meetings. It has also dropped five of seven and six of their last 10 at home in this series.
12/23 10:17:18 ET