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Nets hope to solidify playoff spot against struggling Magic

Mar 23, 2007 - 2:13 PM New Jersey (31-37) at Orlando (31-38) 7:00 pm EDT

ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic both are fighting for their playoff lives.

The Nets hope to build on their one-half game lead over the Magic when the Eastern Conference foes square off Friday in Orlando.

New Jersey has won three of its last five games to move into seventh place in the East.

The Nets are barely ahead of Orlando, which is locked in a virtual tie with Indiana (30-37) for the final playoff spot. The Magic and Pacers are just one-half game ahead of New York (30-38).

New Jersey hopes to rebound from Tuesday's 94-90 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

The Magic have lost five of their last seven contests to fall 7 1/2 games behind first-place Washington (37-29) in the Southeastern Division.

Orlando lost Wednesday, 92-85, to Atlantic Division leader Toronto. All-Star Dwight Howard scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds but shot just 5-of-13 from the line.

New Jersey has won five of six games against Orlando over the last two seasons, including two of three so far this season. The last time the teams met was February 10, when Vince Carter scored 32 points to lead the Nets to a 93-78 victory.








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