Orlando has won eight in a row and 12 of the past 13 matchups between the teams, and recorded a 94-78 victory at home back on Dec. 29 this season. Dwight Howard was a force in that one with 16 points and 24 rebounds for the Magic, who are unbeaten in the previous four games in the Garden State.
The Magic will resume their five-game road trip tonight and are coming off Monday's 93-90 triumph in Milwaukee thanks to another big night from Howard, who recorded 28 points and 16 rebounds. Jameer Nelson had 15 points and Hedu Turkoglu added 13 for Orlando, which is 1-1 on the trek and 9-6 away from home this season. Orlando improved to 9-3 this month.
"Both teams played hard, but we were just able to close it out," Howard said on the team's site. "We stayed with it and stayed together and got a good win."
Orlando will also visit the Hawks and Wizards on the road swing and sits five games behind Miami for the Southeast lead. In injury news for the Magic, guards Jason Richardson (chest/ribs) and Quentin Richardson (quad) are listed as questionable for tonight. Jason Richardson has missed the last two games and is averaging 12.2 points this season. Quentin Richardson played just 4:10 against the Bucks.
New Jersey will try to string back-to-back wins together for only the second time this season (Jan. 25-27) and has prevailed in two of three games since an eight-game losing streak.
Deron Williams and the Nets deciphered the bomb that is Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks with a 100-92 victory on Monday at Madison Square Garden. Williams lit up Lin and the New York defense for a season-high 38 points and knocked down a career-best eight three-pointers. Kris Humphries added a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds for New Jersey, which got 18 points from MarShon Brooks and 11 out of DeShawn Stevenson.
"We definitely had this one circled, you know I think the whole team did," said Williams. "I know I personally did 'cause it was stuck in my mind, you know, this [Linsanity] all started with me."
The Nets will try to halt a six-game home losing streak tonight and are just 3-12 at the Rock this season. After hosting Orlando, New Jersey will return to the road for a four-game trek against Dallas, Boston, Charlotte and Miami.
New Jersey announced this week that forward Shawne Williams will undergo surgery on February 22 to remove a bone fragment from his left foot. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Martin O'Malley and Nets team physician Dr. Riley Williams III at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. A timetable for Williams' return will be decided following the operation. The former first-round pick has appeared in 25 contests this season, starting six, and is averaging 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Nets center Brook Lopez (foot) did not play at New York after making his season debut in a loss to Milwaukee on Sunday, scoring nine points in 22 minutes. He is probable for tonight and missed the first 32 games of the season because of a broken foot suffered in the preseason.
Humphries, however, will sit out tonight with a strained left calf.