NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 28th (All times eastern)
Orlando Magic (46-27) at Milwaukee Bucks (24-46), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic will attempt to break out of a recent funk when the Southeast Division leaders visit the Milwaukee Bucks this evening at the Bradley Center.
Orlando comes in having lost three of its last four games, including two in a row. Despite those struggles as of late, the Magic still own a cushy eight- game lead on second-place Washington in the Southeast standings.
The Magic's latest setback came at the hands of defending NBA champion San Antonio, which used a 28-point performance by Manu Ginobli to post a 107-97 over Orlando Tuesday at Amway Arena.
Dwight Howard racked up 24 points and 21 rebounds for the Magic, which played the second half without key players Hedo Turkoglu (sprained right wrist) and Jameer Nelson (jaw contusion). Rashard Lewis added 24 points in a losing cause.
Nelson's injury is expected to keep him out of tonight's contest as well, while Turkoglu is considered a game-time decision.
Milwaukee is going through an even tougher stretch than Orlando, as the Bucks have come out on the losing end in 11 of its last 13 games and have fallen well out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The Bucks return home after a brief two-game trek through Miami and Atlanta. Milwaukee lost both games during the trip, including a 115-96 defeat to the Hawks on Wednesday.
Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd led Milwaukee with 27 and 20 points, respectively, but the duo was held to a combined five points in the second half. Bogut sat out most of the fourth quarter after taking an inadvertent elbow to his nose, but the standout center is expected to play tonight.
The Bucks have lost five of its last six at home but historically have had great success against the Magic in Milwaukee. Orlando has lost in eight of its nine most recent visits to the Bradley Center and is 3-18 over its last 21 tilts as the visitor in this series.
In their lone visit to Milwaukee this season, the Magic were dealt a 100-86 defeat on December 12.
Orlando has won five of the last seven overall matchups between these clubs, however.
03/28 10:48:53 ET