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News » Nets-Magic Preview 2009-11-12

Nets-Magic Preview 2009-11-12

Nets-Magic Preview 2009-11-12Vince Carter looked strong in his return to the starting lineup for the Orlando Magic. Perhaps his former teammates with the New Jersey Nets will finally get some good news on the injury front as well.

Carter and the Magic try to take advantage of a matchup with the league's only remaining winless team, but the Nets could have two starters back Friday night for the teams' second matchup this season.

After nearly five seasons with New Jersey (0-8), Carter was traded to Orlando (6-3) in July as part of a five-player deal. The veteran swingman missed four of his first seven games with the Magic due to a sprained ankle before scoring 15 points off the bench in a 93-81 win over Charlotte on Tuesday night.

Carter was back in the starting lineup the following evening, but his 29 points weren't enough to help Orlando avoid a 102-93 loss to Cleveland in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Magic have lost two of three following a strong start.

"We're not playing great basketball right now," Carter said. "For us to win and be as good as we want to be, we have to want it. We have to go get it."

Orlando could certainly be playing worse. New Jersey and its banged-up roster is being outscored by an average of 10.8 points.

The Nets had perhaps their best chance at a victory Wednesday night, but missed three chances to take the lead in the final minute of an 82-79 loss to Philadelphia.

"There's no such thing as failure, in the sense that you learn from all these situations," coach Lawrence Frank told the Nets' official Web site. "It's very disappointing to lose, but this is a prideful group. They're busting their tails."

Frank had eight players, the league minimum, at his disposal. He may get some help, with Chris Douglas-Roberts (swine flu) and Courtney Lee (groin) making progress.

Douglas-Roberts, averaging 15.6 points in his second season, has missed three straight games. Lee, a part of the Carter trade after being drafted 22nd overall by Orlando, averaged 11.8 points in six games before missing the last two.

New Jersey remains without Yi Jianlian (knee), Devin Harris (groin), Jarvis Hayes (hamstring), Keyon Dooling (hip) and Tony Battie (knee).

Rafer Alston, also dealt to the Nets by the Magic, has been starting at point guard for Harris. He played a significant role for Orlando last season, starting most of the second half while Jameer Nelson was injured.

Alston had 10 points off the bench in New Jersey's 95-85 loss to Orlando on Oct. 30.

Magic center Dwight Howard led all players with 20 points, 22 rebounds and four blocks in that contest. He has been playing without fellow All-Star Rashard Lewis, who will complete a 10-game suspension Friday for violating the league's substance abuse policy late last season.

Howard will be matched up with Brook Lopez, the only healthy regular for the Nets the past few games. Lopez, though, has not had a letdown in his play, averaging 22.7 points over his last three contests.

Lopez was held to 11 points on 3 of 8 shooting in this season's first matchup with the Magic.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 12, 2009


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